1Chronicles 1


1Chronicles 1:1–54

The Early Descendants of Adam

Outline of Chapter 1:

       vv.    1–4        The genealogy from Adam to Noah

       vv.    5–7        The line of Japheth

       vv.    8–16      The line of Ham

       vv.   17–27      The line of Shem

       vv.   28–34      The descendants of Abraham

       vv.   35–37      The line of Esau

       vv.   38–42      The line of Seir

       vv.   43–50      The kings of Edom

       vv.   51–54      The chiefs of Edom

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

       v.     1:3          Lifelines before and after the flood

       v.     1:3          The lines of Seth and Cain

       v.     1:17        Comparing the Septuagint with the Massoretic text (Gen. 22:23 1Chron. 1:17)

       v.     1:18        Comparing the Massoretic text with the Septuagint and the Greek NT (Gen. 22:24–25)

       v.     1:19        Comparing the age of Shem and his descendants after the flood

       v.     1:35        Eliphaz, the son of Esau and Eliphaz, the friend of Job

       v.     1:38        The Horites

       v.     1:39        The lines of Seir and Esau

       v.     1:42        Dishon and Dishan problems

Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To



The Amalekites

The Amorites



The Assyrians

The Horites and Hivites



The Midianites

The Philistines

I ntroduction: I must admit to beginning this book with some misgivings. I have just finished Ruth and have exegeted the Bible from Genesis through Ruth, making a few stops here and there along the way. My thinking was to cover the Bible in a roughly chronological order without being too anal about it. For instance, I did not want to cover all 150 psalms in one fell swoop, so I have inserted a psalm here or there if the subject matter of the psalm was pertinent (only in the case of the Psalm of Moses did I place a psalm in perfect chronological and logical order). In the Book of the Judges, even though the last five chapters occurred somewhere in the time period of Judges 1–2, I left them to be covered at the end. However, I realize that at some point, I would have to begin with working on 1Chron. 1, a book beginning with the dreaded genealogies. Interestingly enough, this book was written after the books of Nehemiah and Ezra, although the events recorded in this book occurred prior to the events of those books.

The first question that you would have in beginning the book of Chronicles is What’s up with these first nine chapters? Why on earth do we even have this in the Bible? Isn’t this simply list after list after list of a bunch of old dead guys? C. Kraft gives the illustration of the Gentile student who asks the Jewish student to identify his favorite portion of Scripture. The Jewish student, apparently without hesitation, replied, “The first eight chapters of First Chronicles.” The Gentile was amazed, but as his friend started to give his reasons, he began to understand something of the mysterious attraction of these chapters. ‘From my (Gentile) point of view,’ he reflected, “I have often wondered why God allowed so much space in his Word to be “Wasted” on such trivia. But to a Hebrew (and to many other kinship-oriented societies around the world), genealogical lists of this nature demonstrate in the clearest way the specificity of God’s love and concern that lie at the heart of the gospel.’  Footnote One of the most important passages of a book that we will ever read will be the Lamb’s Book of Life wherein we will find our names written. We are there by the grace and love and plan of God and finding our name amidst the millions of other names means that God has a place for us in eternity. What we have in these books of Chronicles are our forefathers, both spiritual and genetic, whom God has seen fit to lovingly recall.


Selman further explains why the people of that day also had an interest: Despite their Jewish heritage, they were too preoccupied with an overwhelming identity crisis and a deep sense of guilt and shame to give much attention to the meaning of God’s love. Tucked away and often ignored in a far-flung corner of the Persian Empire, the largest empire the world had yet seen, they had nagging doubts about whether Israel could ever again really be God’s people. Furthermore, many Jews felt that their present sad state of affairs was God’s will, a punishment for past sins. And yet these seemingly intractable problems are almost certainly the kind of issues that the lists and genealogies of 1Chronicles 1–9 are intended to confront. The sense of belonging and of continuity which they conveyed were clearly gospel or good news as far as the author was concerned. They show that the Chronicler’s generation had not after all been cast off from their historical, geographical, and spiritual moorings. If they would only look back, look around, and look up, they would see that they still belonged to ‘Israel’, and that their present predicament was not hopeless. Footnote

Next, what you must wonder, is how in the world can you take a list of names and exegete the passage? Don’t we simply just have name after name after name with a little text inserted here or there? Certainly. However, there is still a lot to be dug out of this. With regards to my own personal study, I require an hour or two per verse. Now, a great deal of that is reading and determining to leave out information which is spurious or just not as pertinent as others have thought, or repetitious. However, the Hebrew, like the Hebrew in narrative, is fairly easy (we actually will go nine verses without a verb).

There is a general textual problem which I might as well address here. In 1Chronicles 1, it appears as though the text was beefed up. The same chapter in the Septuagint is sparse by comparison. There are passages where we simply find the parallel passages in Genesis quoted verbatim, with an occasional scribal error. I don’t know what happened—whether, at some point in time, a scribe had little or nothing to work with, and so embellished this chapter from Genesis—but I suspect that in the original, this chapter is probably two-thirds as long. What we are interested in is the promised line and not all of the excursions which this chapter offers us.

This is not the only problem. You will recall that in previous exegetical approaches that every few verses, there would be a word or two which was in question. When it comes to this portion of Scripture, there will be what will seem to be an average of one or two names per verse which got screwed up. Bear in mind that, just like you, man values these genealogical lists less than almost any other portion of Scripture; therefore, by the time someone would get around to re-doing the manuscript for the early portion of Chronicles, often the manuscript would be severely damaged and even unreadable at times. Therefore, we will find a veritable cornucopia of variant readings and alternate spellings.

What we have throughout Scripture is this particular line which is pursued. Genesis mentions the line of Cain and follows it out a couple of generations; however, it follows the line of Seth all the way to the flood. Noah has three children, and their lines are all followed for a few generations; however, Shem’s line is followed through nine generations to Abraham. The writer follows all of the lines, but he follows the lineage of the non-elect first, and briefly, and then moves to the lineage of the elect, which he follows throughout. In other words, at Noah, we follow Japheth’s line and Ham’s line, for a limited time; however, we eventually move over the Shem’s line, which we follow for many more generations. Abraham’s line will be followed through to David and David’s line will be followed for a couple of generations in the Old Testament. The New Testament will pick up with two genealogies: Matthew traces the line from Abraham to Joseph, and Luke traces the generations backward from Mary to Adam. The promise God made to Satan, before Adam and the woman, in Gen. 3:15 was “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you on the head and you will bruise him on the heel.” From that point on, mankind watched and waited for the seed of the woman who would bruise Satan on the head (meaning a fatal wound) while Satan would bruise the Seed of the Woman on the heel (a painful, but not deadly wound). Eventually, it became clear that the Seed of the Woman would be the Messiah Who would come and deliver His people and bring peace to this earth. For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will be upon His shoulders. And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace on the throne of David and over his kingdom. He will establish it and uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore, the zeal of Jehovah of the armies will accomplish this (Isa. 9:6–7). The tracing of the generations traces the promise which God made before Adam and the woman to the Christ Child, Who was born in fulfillment of that promise. Once the line comes to Mary and Joseph, and the Messiah is born of Mary, then there is no need to pursue any other genealogy. Just as there was no reason to follow out Cain’s genealogy or Ham’s or Esau’s at any length, once mankind was a witness to the fulfillment of the birth of the Seed of the Woman, then there was no reason for Scripture to follow out the generations of any particular family after that.

Textual criticism is the science of determining what was in the original text and what was not. It is my own opinion that the present version of 1Chron. 1 is somewhat bloated. There are portions of this chapter which are taken word-for-word from the book of Genesis. At the same time, these portions are often presented very differently in the Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament made sometime between 300–11 b.c. My thinking is that at some point in time, the condition of certain portions of the extent manuscripts was neglected (scribes being probably as enthusiastic about genealogies as you), and that, when it came to restoring the text, a scribe had to go to Genesis to fill in the blanks, so to speak. There appear to have been times where great chunks of 1Chron. 1 were copied directly from Genesis—however, my thinking is that it was by a scribe rather than the original author. Whereas there are a huge number of renderings in the Septuagint which are consummately suspect, due to their occasional freewheeling style of translation, it is pretty darned difficult to screw up the translation of this chapter into any language. Since the translators of the Septuagint had access to manuscripts which were a 1400+ years older than those that we have today, some mind should be paid to what is found and what is not found in the Septuagint. That the author of 1Chronicles used Genesis as a reference book, I have no doubt—that the author copied great chunks of Genesis word-for-word, here I have my doubts. The fact that these same great chunks are not found in the Septuagint confirm my opinion. However, lest you be concerned, I will exegete all that we find in our English Bibles, making certain to point out what came directly from the book of Genesis, as well as comparing said verse to the Septuagint.

Now, I in particular relate well to this book of Chronicles because it is a compilation of other historical documents. When I exegete any book of Scripture, much of my information is culled from other sources. Unlike my pastor, Bob Thieme, who eschewed commentaries, certain commentaries are an integral portion of my study, and are often the source of extended quotes. What I put together on these various books of the Bible would only be a shadow of their present value had I not the shoulders of Thieme, McGee, Keil and Delitzsch and Barnes to stand upon (among hundreds of others). And, whereas I have uncovered two or three reasonably important facts missed by previous exegetes (and have come across a half dozen or more nuances also missed by my predecessors), for everything that I catch on my own, I have hundreds, if not thousands of things, pointed out to me by those who have come before—things that I would not have caught myself. Footnote

Most of the historical information on the people mentioned herein came from the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible. Once in awhile, it came up short, and Douglas’s The New Bible Dictionary would provide a tidbit or two of information which I would have otherwise missed.

You will notice a change in the translation of these verses. In previous books, I have been very pleased with giving three translations for every verse—the first being excessively literal; the second being moderately literal, with less literal renderings in regard to the rendering of conjunctions, number and definite articles; and the third being an extremely loose rendering of the thought. I began in this way with chronicles and then decided that there was no need for three different renderings of each verse.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Genealogy from Adam to Noah

Gen. 5:4–32 Luke 3:36–38

Slavishly literal:


Moderately literal:

Adam, Seth Enosh



Adam, Seth, Enosh.

As we all know, Adam was the first man and he was created directly by God. He was created immediately by God, body, soul and spirit. Adam had three sons who were mentioned by name—Abel, Cain and Seth. Cain was the eldest. After him was born Abel. Abel tended the flocks and Cain was a farmer, a man of the soil. As you will recall from Gen. 4 and Heb. 11:4, both Cain and Abel came before God with their sacrifice. Abel brought the animal sacrifice, which was the accepted worship by man—the animal sacrifice spoke of Christ on the cross and paying the penalty for our sins. What Cain brought to God were the works of his hands. He had slaved in the field over his grains and vegetables and fruits and brought to God that which he had worked to produce. God disregarded this offering. This is, from the very beginning, man approaching God with the works of his own hands received no respect from God. We all know the ending to this story—Cain, after observing Abel kill these animals by slitting their throat, he did the same to Abel out of jealousy, perhaps exclaiming “How’s this for a blood sacrifice?” Interestingly enough, the chronicler does not include Cain or Abel in this line, focusing, instead, on the chosen line of Adam. While Cain was banished by God from his family, Adam and Eve had another male child. And Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, for, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him. And to Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then they began to call on the name of Jehovah (Gen. 4:25–26). These first four verses cover all human history from creation to the floor (Gen. 1–6).

Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared.



Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared.

Prior to the flood, the life spans of these men was great, which caused an incredible population explosion. They had children what would seem late in life to us, but was early for them. And Seth lived 105 years and he became the father of Enosh...and Enosh lived 90 years and became the father of Kenan...And Kenan lived 70 years and became the father of Mahalalel...and Mahalalel lived sixty-five years and became the father of Jared (Gen. 5:6, 9, 12, 15). Other than this, we know nothing of these early men, other than perhaps the meanings of their names and their ages—Seth lived to be 912, Kenan 910, Mahalalel 895 and Jared 962. You will note that we are not following the line of Cain here, although he (like Seth) married one of his sisters and raised a family as well.

Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech.



Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech.

And Jared lived 162 years and became the father of Enoch...And Enoch lived 65 years and became the father of Methuselah (Gen. 5:18, 21). Jared died at the age of 962, but Enoch did not die. Enoch is much like the church—he was taken by God prior to the flood—prior to God wiping out corrupted mankind with the judgement. Enoch is mentioned as one of the heroes of the faith in Heb. 11:5: By faith, Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up, he was pleasing to God.

Methuselah is best known for being the oldest person in Scripture, living 969 years. He was the father of Lamech, who was the father of Noah. Now, it is just easier to see this age thing with sort of a chart:

Lifelines Before and After the Flood


Chart is from http://www.millennium-ark.net/NEWS/10_Prophecy/10_Prophecy_pics/100104.declining_longevit.gif accessed June 18, 2010.

Methuselah died the year of the flood (and perhaps he died in the flood). Lamech died five years prior to the flood.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

This line is sometimes confused with the line of Cain (Gen. 4:17–22), as there are some similarities.

Seth ➔ Enosh ➔ Kenan ➔ Mahalalel ➔ Jared ➔ Enoch ➔ Methuselah ➔ Lamech ➔ Noah (Gen. 5:6–30 1Chron. 1:1b–4a)

Cain ➔ Enoch ➔ Irad ➔ Mehujael ➔ Methushael ➔ Lamech ➔ [Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-cain and Naamah] (Gen. 4:17–22)

As I hope is obvious, even though there are some names in common, these are simply two different genealogies. Anytime you take two brothers born, say, over 100 years ago, and follow out a branch of each one, there are bound to be some similar names and some identical names.


ZPEB: According to some critics, the Cainite Lamech of Genesis 4 and the Sethite Lamech of Genesis 5 were originally identical, with the two genealogies coming from one common legend or source. The J document (ch. 4) preserved one variant list, and the P document (ch. 5) preserved another. However, the differences of spelling and order of names is as striking as the similarities. Footnote

Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth.



Noah, Shem, Ham, Japheth.

It has been assumed, and corroborated by Scripture, that vv. 1–3 are a genealogical descent and that, with v. 4, we then name the three brothers, Shem, Ham and Japheth. This verse is different from the previous three as Shem, Ham and Japheth are all sons of Noah. In fact, the Septuagint says just that—it inserts the phrase sons of Noah. Several modern translations follow suit here (e.g., CEV, REB, NEB, NIV, NLT). Here it is not really a matter of following the Septuagint text over the Massoretic text, but for clarification purposes. A reader in the ancient world would not have needed this clarification.

Actually, it is not clear, at first, if they were born separately or whether they were triplets (stay with me on this). Gen. 5:32: And Noah was five hundred years old, and Noah became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth. By comparing this verse to Gen. 9:28–29, Noah was age 600 at the flood. However, Shem is later to said to be 100 when he bore his son Arpachshad two years after the flood (Gen. 11:10), meaning that he was age 98 at the flood, making Noah actually 502 when Shem was born. Therefore, Noah was not exactly 500 when his children were born, but approximately 500, implying that they were born at different times (otherwise, his exact age would have been given, as it was for all of his ancestors). Furthermore, had his wife given birth to triplets, then that fact would have probably been recorded in Scripture, as were the births of the famous twins (Gen. 25:21–26 38:27–30).

It was from Noah’s three sons that all mankind has come. What appears to be the case is that from Ham we have the Blacks and Orientals, from Japheth the Caucasoids, and from Shem, the Jews and Arabs. Footnote The notes of the Open Bible instead lists Japheth as the ancestor of the Indo-Europeans; Ham as the ancestor of the Arabians, Egyptians, Libyans and Canaanites; and Shem as the father of the Semitic peoples.

We will approach these three lines as though they were entirely separate. However, do not think for a moment that there was no intermarriage or very limited intermarriage. Barnes tells us that the Hamites and Semites intermingled in Arabia and that the Semites and Japhethites likely intermarried in Cappadocia, the country of Meshech. Barnes adds: ...and this Aramæan admixture may have been the origin of the notion, so prevalent among the Greeks, that the Cappadocians were Syrians. Footnote

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Line of Japheth

Gen. 10:2–5

Sons of Japheth: Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras.



Descendants of Japheth [were] Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras.


You will note a change in the verbiage with this verse. In this verse, we begin with the masculine plural construct of bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane] (we tend to pronounce it behn), which means sons, descendants. Although we are probably speaking of sons in this verse, it is used in both ways in Scripture and will be used in both ways in this book. Strong’s #1121 BDB #119. At this point, the author of Chronicles copies this information directly from the book of Genesis (Gen. 10:2).

We can reasonably assume that the most well-known of the descendants of Japheth are listed here. As in Genesis, the emphasis is more upon geography and culture than it is upon kinship. Exactly who is descended from who and in what order is not as important as simply giving the list of the various nations which came from Japheth (the same will be true of Ham).

Chris is a pleasant name for a male or a female. Gomer is also a male or a female name, although it would not be my first choice for anyone that I liked. Historians have determined that his progeny are the Cimmerians (the Akkadian name is gimmirrai and the Greek is Kimmerioi) and the Cimbri, from who come the Celts. For awhile, they occupied Southern Russia and were forced out by the Scythians and they moved into Asia Minor at the end of the 8th century bc. In the 7th century bc, they conquered Urartus, Phrygia and Lydia and battled Greek cities on the West Coast. The Scythians that they did battle with are probably descended from Magog, his brother (according to Josephus). They occupied the territory North of the Black Sea, which would put them in Western Russia and Poland. Magog figures into prophecy quite heavily in Ezek. 38:2 39:6 and Rev. 20:8.

From Madai comes one of the most famous of the ancient peoples: the Medes. They are Indo-European peoples who populated northwestern Iran and were later absorbed by the Persians. Except for words of theirs taken by other nations, their language has disappeared in antiquity and the records of their distribution are found in the documents of Assyrian rulers who fought against them. It appears that they might have been allied with the Cimmerians and protected from the Scythians in that alliance.

Javan is the Jewish word for Greeks. Javan's famous descendants include the Ionians, who lived in the West Coast of Asia Minor, Greece, Macedonia and Syria. Isaiah (in Isa. 66:19) associates Javan with the far-off nations to whom Yahweh's messengers will be dispatched. This associates him with the far-western nations with respect to the Jews at that time. Ezekiel tells us that Javan contributed to the wealth of Tyre (Ezek. 27:13). Daniel associates Javan with Alexander's Greco-Macedonian empire.

Tubal is mentioned several times throughout the Bible and his descendants are thought to have populated the area south of the Black Sea, in what is today Turkey, but then it was called southern Anatolia. The Assyrian empire began to expand to the North and East and began to be in conflict with the tribes of Anatolia from the rise of Ashurnasirpal (circa 870 bc) to onslaught of the Scythians in 679 bc. Their strength and tenacity in battle is shown by resisting these forces for several centuries, remaining in continual, bitter conflict with the Assyrians. The Bible ascribes to Tubal the trading of slaves and metals.

Meshech is often mentioned in conjunction with Tubal and Magog in Biblical and secular literature alike. Some believe that they were Indo-European peoples who populated central Asia Minor, but were later pushed by their enemies southeast of the Black Sea. Many think that these three are the source of the modern Russians. Ezekiel refers to them as traders of slaves and bronze (Ezek. 27:13); when castigating Egypt, Ezekiel tells them that they will inhabit Sheol with uncircumcised barbarians like Meshech and Tubal (Ezek. 32:26); they are grouped again with Tubal in Ezek. 38 and 39 as the anti-God forces from the land of Magog.

Tiras is thought to be the progenitor of the Thracians, and later the Tyrsenoi, a people which occupied the coastal area of the Aegean Sea. There is some disagreement here and others see them as being related to Tarsus and Tarshish and possibly as the ancestor of the Etruscans.

And sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz and Diphath [or, Riphath] and Togarmah.



The descendants of Gomer [were] Ashkenaz, Diphath and Togarmah.

Ashkenaz apparently did not stray too far. According to Jer. 51:27, they lived in Ararat and Armenia during Jeremiah's time. Extra-Biblical Jewish literature indicates that Ashkenaz later became a synonym for Germany. Just as Jews in Spain and Portugal were called Sephartic Jews, Jews in Germany were called Ashkenazim. According to the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia they likely became the Scythians who were allied with the Manneans in battle against the Assyrians. Their name became a synonym for Barbarian as they were a crude and warlike people Footnote who caused unrest in the Assyrian empire. Herodotus recorded their conquest of the Cimmerians (Gomer).


This verse is slightly different than Gen. 10:3. In Gen. 10:3, one of Gomer’s sons is called Riphath—actually, Rîyphath (ת-פי.ר) [pronounced ree-FAHTH]. Strong’s #7384 BDB #937. Here, we have a dawleth (ד) rather than a rêysh (ר). It is easy to see how one might be mistaken for the other in the transmission of the manuscripts. The parallel passage in 1Chronicles calls Riphath, Diphath. There is obviously very little difference. Why wasn't this error caught? The Scribe who copied Genesis is not necessarily the same Scribe who copied 1Chronicles; even if it was, they would likely not have caught the error that they made. Any Scribe who caught the error later was not permitted to change it. However, we do have several manuscripts plus the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate which read Riphath in both passages. Furthermore, this is Riphath in four early printed editions and in the Syriac and the Vulgate. Footnote Scofield notes that Riphath and Togarmah were both inhabitants of Asia Minor. The ZPEB gives several possibilities, identifying them with the Ripheaean mountains and the river Rhebas in Bithynia and with the Rhibii, a people who lived eastward of the Caspian Sea which would be in Southern Russia. All of these could be true as it is not necessary for a family to all remain in the same geographical area for the rest of their lives. Certainly their are groups who break off and others who intermarry. What we are examining is general trends.

Togarmah is described by Ezekiel as a nation which traded with Tyre, providing them with Mules, horses and horsemen (Ezek. 27:14). They are called allies of Magog and associated with Gomer, Persia, Cush and Put in Ezek. 38:6. Josephus believed them to be the Phrygians but Assyrian inscriptions refer to a Til-garimmu (Tegarama in Hittite) which could refer to Togarmah. That city was in East Cappadocia, so this would place them possibly North of Palestine and southeast of the Black Sea. This city was destroyed by the Assyrians in 695 b.c.

And sons of Javan: Elishah and Tarshish and Kittim and Rodanim [or, Dodanim].



The descendants of Javan [were] Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Rodanim.

Word-for-word, this is Gen. 10:4, except that it is Dodanim rather than Rodanim in Genesis (the same problem noted in v. 6 is found here). It is found Dodanim in five early printed editions, as well as in the Septuagint and Vulgate.

Josephus identified Elishah with the Æolians, a Greek peoples and others have associated them with Carthage, a nation in Northern Africa because the name of the Tyrian princess who, according to tradition, founded Carthage had a similar name: Elissa. The ZPEB concludes that due to their supplying purple dyes to the Tyrians and their association with Greece and Kittam, they were likely the inhabitants of islands out in the Aegean Sea or of Sicily and Southern Italy.

Tarshish was the name of a city in the West Mediterranean region near Gibralter in Spain and it is likely equivalent to Tartessus, where Jonah fled when he was told to evangelize Nineveh. They could have also been associated with sea ports around southwestern Italy as Tarshish is closely associated with sea vessels and sea ports. This reputation would have allowed them to occupy a spread-out area like this. When Tarshish is used in connection with ships, it likely does not refer to a geographical origin or destination but to the ships themselves; their large size and sea worthiness.

Kittim is associated with the Island of Cyprus, which Herodotus claims was colonized by the Phœnicians (Shem), the Ethiopians (Ham) and the Greeks (Japheth), which is not unlike what happened on the Isle of Crete. Josephus ties Kittam to a city on the southeast coast of Cyprus, Cition. Jeremiah uses Kittam to refer to generally the seafaring West which would exert dominance over the East. Daniel's reference to the ships of Kittam could refer to the Romans who defeated Antiochus Epiphanes in Egypt in 169 b.c. In fact, the Septuagint, instead of reading ships of Kittam reads Romans. The Apocryphal and Pseudopigraphal literature associate Kittam with the Grecian empire.

Dodanim could very likely be Rodanim (as it is rendered in 1Chron. 1:7), in which case they are associated with the inhabitants of the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, right off the coast of Turkey, a stepping stone to Crete and the Mediterranean Sea. If Dodanim is the correct rendering, then we have no idea as to who these people are.

Scripture is often arranged topically rather than chronologically. In Gen. 10, we have the list of nations, the descendants of Noah. In Gen. 11, we have the tower of Babel. The two go together. That is, they time period certainly overlaps. We have these sons of Noah all bearing children, who are bearing children. Although the life span was significantly shortened after the flood, decreasing with each generation, still we have people living for several centuries. All of these people lived in the same area until the tower of Babel, wherein their languages were confused, and they separated at that point. I would guess that those of the same families, as they would be the closest, would have retained the same language and, as a result of the confusion of languages, move into the territories for which they are known. According to the Nelson maps, Footnote Gomer, Togarmah and Ashkenaz (progenitor of the Scythians) went north and occupied southern Turkey. Javan, who was the ancestor of the Greeks, occupied the area around the Aegean Sea, certainly along the eastern portion of the Aegean Sea. Nelson also places Madai (the Medes) in northwest Iran, between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

You will note that we do not follow out the other sons of Japheth—just his first and fourth sons’ lines are mentioned.

MacMillan essentially agrees, also placing Japheth, in general, in the north of the Mediterranean Sea. He has Tiras living in Italy, Tarshish west of Italy (apparently occupying the two islands) and Meshech and Togarmah in Turkey. Given that Noah constructed an arc, and that the population in general constructed a tower, it is not inconceivable that those who remained after the flood also constructed ships.

The editor passes over v. 5 of Gen. 10 and goes on to v. 6:

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Line of Ham

Gen. 10:6–20

Sons of Ham: Cush and Mizraim {Egypt], Put [or, Libya] and Canaan.



The descendants of Ham [were] Cush and Mizraim, Put and Canaan.

With regards to language, Gen. 10:6 inserts another conjunction between Egypt and Put. As you will note, the early descendants of Ham were quite impressive. In the Hebrew, Cush is actually kûwsh (ש) [pronounced koosh]. Cush is translated variously as Ethiopia, Cush, Cushi and Cushite (it is all the same word). This same word is used for the son of Ham as well as the southernmost people known to the Hebrews as well as for the land they occupied. They lived in the southern Nile-valley, or Upper Egypt. This would be Ethiopia. Strong’s #3568 BDB #468. Ethiopia is south of Egypt, off the Red Sea. They appear to be associated with Egypt circa the twentieth century bc, but later became independent from the Egyptians around 1000 bc. A few centuries later, they ruled over Egypt and had prepared to do battle with Hezekiah, but they were driven off by the Assyrians in the late 7th century b.c. We can reasonably assume that in most or all cases that the persons named in these genealogies are those who founded the nations which bear their name.

Mizraim is the eponym of Egypt, which we covered in Exodus. Mizraim is Hebrew for Egypt and is translated that way in the RSV.

Josephus claims that Put was the founder of Libya and that the first inhabitants are called the Putites. Put has quite the varied future. Isaiah said that Put (and Tarshish and Lud) would one day here the glory of God in Isa. 64:19. Jeremiah groups Put with Ethiopia and Lud as nations whose warriors would be used in the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 46:9) Ezekiel, on the other hand, both mentions that Put contributed to the wealth of Tyre (Ezek. 27:10) and as a nation which will fall by the sword (Ezek. 30:5). She is grouped with other nations as an object of God's wrath (Ezek. 38:5) and with nations which supported Nineveh (Nahum 3:6–9).

Canaan occupied the promised land before the Jews did and is the source of many peoples who were antagonistic toward the Jews.

And sons of Cush: Seba and Havilah and Sabia and Raama [or, Raamah] and Sabteca. And sons of Raama [or, Raamah]: Sheba and Dedan.



The descendants of Cush [were] Seba, Havilah, Sabia, Raama and Sabteca. The descendants of Raama [were] Sheba and Dedan.

Macmillan shows Seba living just south of Cush, and Havilah even more south along the Red Sea at the Gulf of Aden. Dedan is shown as being east of the Red Sea with Raama and Sheba being further south. This verse is almost identical with Gen. 10:7, except Raama ends in an h in Genesis (which would not affect the pronunciation). The first Raama also ends in h in five early printed editions, and the second Raamah lacks the h in two early printed editions.

Seba is a land and a people in Southern Arabia. Some have thought them to be equivalent to Sheba, since the difference between the names is a small dot; but this would not make any sense to list the same person twice. They may have stayed together as brothers and founded, for all intents and purposes, one nation or people. Psalm 72:10 mentions them together. God spoke through Isaiah, saying, "For I the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have Egypt as your ransom; Ethiopia and Seba for you." (Isa. 43:3). Isaiah also indicates that the Sabæans would come to Israel, recognizing the God of Israel is the only God (Isa. 45:14).

Havilah is likely located in the Western portion of Arabia, just North of Yemen. This son of Cush likely received his name after the land mentioned in or near the garden of Eden. Let me quote from ZPEB: Many regard this Havilah of Arabia and that of the Garden of Eden story as two different places. Duh.

Sabta is thought to be a place in Arabia on or near the East coast. Sabteca is thought to be by some a scribal error for Sabtah, but this would not make any sense to name the same group twice. They are associated with Southern Arabia.

Raamah was probably located in Arabia, but exactly where is disputed. They traded with Tyre as did Sheba (Ezek. 27:22).

Since there are other Sheba's in the Bible (Abraham's grandson and a decedent of Joktan), it is hard to identify which is which. Some have even suggested that there had been a blending of the Semitic and Hamitic tribes, which is possible. Whereas some authorities are not sure whether this could refer to one, two or three people, I do not find it difficult to imagine that some kids just got the same name and some families have two children with the same names (Sheba and Dedan were both sons of Raamah and Sheba and Dedan were both sons of Jokshan, a descendant of Abraham). Sheba was a country in Southwest Arabia, where Yemen is today. Camel caravans from Sheba are mentioned twice: once in Job 6:19 and also in 1Kings 10:1–13 (the latter is in connection to the visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon). Which Sheba populated this area is not known, but I would think the grandson of Cush.

And Cush sired Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the land.



And Cush fathered Nimrod, and he became mighty on the earth.


This verse is identical to Gen. 10:8. We begin here with the Qal perfect of yâlad (ד ַלָי) [pronounced yaw-LAHD], which means to bear, to be born, to bear, to bring forth, to beget. With a male, this could be better rendered sired, fathered. NIV Study Bible correctly suggests that this could read became the father (ancestor, predecessor, or founder) of. Footnote Strong’s #3205 BDB #408. It is interesting that Nimrod is not listed with the other sons of Cush. We then have the 3rd person, masculine singular pronoun and the Hiphil perfect of châlal (ל ַל ָח) [pronounced khaw-LAHL], which means to begin. Strong's #2490 BDB #320. This is followed by to be and then the masculine singular noun gibbôr (ר  ̣) [pronounced gib-BOAR], which means strong man, mighty man, soldier, warrior, combatant, soldier, veteran. Strong’s #1368 BDB #150. This is followed by in the land or on the earth. The final noun is the feminine singular of erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets], which means earth (all or a portion), land. It can mean ➊ planet earth (Gen. 18:18, 25 22:18 Job 37:12); ➋ a specific portion of the earth, such as a country, region, or territory (Gen. 11:28, 31 21:21 Psalm 78:12—you will note that in these instances, erets is in the construct and generally translated the land of); ➌ the ground, the soil (Gen. 1:11–12, 30 18:2 33:3 Lev. 19:9). Strong's #776 BDB #75. Since this all occurs after Gen. 6, where we have the corruption of mankind, we might look to Nimrod as being a leader on the earth, his influence being greater than that of the elders who were still alive. It is likely that his influence was instrumental in building the tower of Babel. In any case, Gen. 1:10:9–12 goes into greater detail, where Babel and the construction of several cities are mentioned. The Open Bible suggests that he could be Sargon I of the 24th century b.c., but that seems far too late in history for Nimrod. Footnote

And Mizraim [Egypt] sired Ludim and Anamim and Lehabim and Naphtuhim and Pathrusim and Casluhim (who came from there: Philistines) and Caphtorim.



And Mizraim fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, Pathrusim and Casluhim (from whom came the Philistines) and Caphtorim).

This was taken directly from Gen. 10:13–14. Separating the verses only causes confusion. I couldn’t find most of these sons on either map. It is significant as well that in the Greek Septuagint, vv. 11–16 are not to be found. One possibility is that they do not belong in 1Chronicles.

We definitely have a change at this point. Previously, we were speaking of individuals who may or may not have become nations. Now we are dealing with names which all have the plural Hebrew ending (-im). Now, whether Mizraim just liked naming his kids in the plural or whether this indicates that we are now speaking of groups of peoples who came from Mizraim, I can’t say.

Ludim is not Lud, the son of Shem, and his place in history, along with Anamim and Naphtuhim, are unknown. Some scholars believe that Lubim should be Libya, others claim that we do not know at this time who they are or who they became.

The Pathrusim are mentioned only here and in Genesis—they are the people of Pathros which is in Upper Egypt (they are the people of Pathros).

The Philistines lived in southern Canaan; it is from their name that we get the English designation Palestine. The Philistines are closely associated with Samson, with Saul and with the early reign of David.

The Caphtorim were covered in Deut. 2:23 and Joshua 13:2. There is confusion as the relationship of Casluhim, the Philistines and the Caphtorim, which is discussed in more detail in Joshua 13:2. This deals with the idea that the phrase, who came from there: the Philistines, should have been attached to the Caphtorim. It is covered in even more detail in the Doctrine of the Philistines, found in Judges 14:4.

And Canaan sired Sidon, his first-born, and Heth;



And Canaan was the father of Sidon, his first-born, and Heth;

V. 13 is taken directly from Gen. 10:15. Sidon and Heth are the sons of Canaan and the others which follow are the various tribes which eventually populated Canaan. Sidon is not spoken of as an individual or as the head of a tribe again (except in the 1Chronicles list), but the city he gave his name to is mentioned throughout the Bible. It was once the capitol of ancient Phœnicia. The NIV Study Bible suggests that this could read, of the Sidonians, the foremost. In the Hebrew there is the 3rd person masculine suffix which would mitigate against that interpretation. However, I should point out that a huge portion of this passage is in question anyway. In my version of the Septuagint (LXX β), about a dozen of these verses are not even found.

From Heth came the Hittites. The Hittites lived in the land of Canaan. Esau's wives are said to have been the daughters of Heth and Jacob was warned by Rebekah against marrying the daughters of Heth (Gen. 27:46). My maps place them in southern Turkey as well.

And the Jebusites and the Amorites and the Girgashites,



as well as the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites,

The Jebusites lived in the hills surrounding Jerusalem. Jebus, later called Jerusalem, was their main city and Jebusite is first used of the present occupants of that area (Gen. 15:21 Ex. 3:8) and then of the former occupants of that area (Ezek. 16:3, 45 Zech. 9:7). No one could drive them out of this area for centuries, so they lived side-by-side the Israelites (Joshua 15:63 Judges 1:21). David finally conquered this city, making it his own. He either restored the name of Jerusalem or the author of Judges (or an editor of Judges), inserted its name in Judges 19:10.

The Amorites lived scattered about the hills surrounding the Jordan. They occupied a large enough territory and exerted enough influence to have their named used as a general term for those who lived in Canaan (Gen. 15:16 48:22 Josh. 24:15). Ezekiel described Jerusalem as the offspring of the Amorite and the Hittite (Ezek. 16:3, 45). The difference between the two might be a northern and a southern area of occupation. Their leaders (Gen. 14:13 Num. 21:21 Deut. 31:4), their stature (Amos 2:9) and their gods (Joshua 24:15 Judges 6:10) are all mentioned in Scripture. The Doctrine of the Amorites was covered back in Gen. 10:16.

The Girgashites have been associated by some with the city Karkisha, found in the cuneiform Hittite texts, but this is not an historical certainty. Israel did defeat them in Deut. 7:1 Joshua 3:10 24:11.

and the Hivites and the Arkites and the Sinites, and the Arvadites and the Zemarites and the Hamathites.



the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.

Vv 15–16 is identical with Gen. 17–18b. The author of Genesis provides more information along the way which the author of Chronicles leaves out.

The Hivites lived in the hills of Lebanon (Gen. 10:17 Judges. 3:3) and the Hermon range to the valley which leads to Hamath (Joshua 6:3). They occupied this territory even until the time of David (2Sam. 24:7). They are more closely associated with the Arkites than the other tribes mentioned. It is quite likely that these are also known as the Horites, the mixup being due to a scribal error. Gen. 36:2,20–30 are cited to prove this (Zibeon is called both a Hivite and a Horite). The original difference between the words is vav (waw), ו, and resh, ר, so it is easy to see how a scribal error could have been made. Gen. 34:2 and Joshua 9:7 have various readings of Hittite, Hivite and Horite.

The Arkite inhabited, of all places, the town of Arka (presently, it is Tell ‘Arqa, four miles from the sea and 12 miles northeast of Tripoli, Syria. The city is found in the Assyrian inscriptions under the name Irkatah, described by both Shalmaneser II and Tiglath-Pileser II as rebellious.

Arvad (called Ruâd today) was the northern most Phœnician city, is an island two miles off the coast of Syria (which was ancient Phœnicia) opposite Cypress approximately 50 miles north of Byblos. Despite its diminutive size (less than a mile in circumference), Footnote it was heavily fortified and they ruled over some a great deal of the neighboring coast. This city maintained its independence up until the 9th century bc when it was under Tyre's control during the time of Ezekiel (who mentions it in Ezek. 27:8, 11).

Except for the parallel passage in 1Chronicles, the Sinites and the Hamathites are never mentioned again. The Sinites have been variously associated with Sinna on Mount Lebanon (Strabo notes this). We find that their name may have survived in the names Nahr as-Sinn and Sinn addarb and might be related to other peoples in secular history.

The Zemarites likely lived in northern Phœnicia, between Arvad and Tripolis in what is now called Sumra (called Sumur in the Tell el-Amarna letters and Simirra in the Assyrian texts).

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Line of Shem

Gen. 10:21–31 11:10–17

Sons of Shem: Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram and Uz and Hul and Gether and Meshech.



The sons of Shem [were] Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshech.

At this point, for just a few words, we are back in sync with the Septuagint and Massoretic texts. However, there are some glaring differences at this point:

Gen. 10:22–23

1Chron. 1:17 (Massoretic text)

1Chron. 1:17–26 (Septuagint)

Sons of Shem: Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram. And sons of Aram: Uz and Hul and Gether and Mash.

Sons of Shem: Elam and Asshur and Arpachshad and Lud and Aram and Uz and Hul and Gether and Meshech.

Sons of Sem: Alam and Assur and Arphaxad and Sala and Eber and Pheleg and Ragan and Seruch and Nachor and Tharrha.

The additional names from the Septuagint reflect verses that we will cover later. However, the point is that the Septuagint list is much more abbreviated than the Massoretic text, and the Septuagint is based upon older manuscripts. One theory would be that some of the manuscripts for 1Chronicles, at one point, were no longer readable or available to the scribes, so that, from memory, they recalled the lack of narrative, and simply went back to Genesis, copying the various lines down, and leaving out the detail. What may have been the case is that there was much less by way of names given in the original (recall that most of Ham’s line is not found in the Septuagint).

One of the other differences that you will note is that in the Massoretic text, the author does not bother to note that Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshech are all sons of Aram; given the meaning of the Hebrew word bên, they are all sons of Shem. We know this from Gen. 10:23. One Hebrew manuscript and some Septuagint manuscripts list Aram’s line separately—however, my guess is that they simply copied directly from Genesis due to their original manuscripts being unreadable.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

Shem is one of the three sons of Noah, and in the line of the Messiah. It is by him that the Semitic (Shemitic) peoples are named. Although we think of Jews as Semites, their oft-times enemies and first-cousins, the Arabs, are also Semitic.

The land of Elam is in between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. They are non-Semitic Caucasians and their earliest appearance in secular history is approximately 2450 b.c. Their succession of rulers happened to be very peculiar to man: the throne was hereditary through women so that the new ruler was a son of a sister of a member of the previous ruler's family. Like most nations, they enjoyed periods of independence and periods of being dominated. Ezekiel has prophesied that they will drink from the cup of the wrath of God. The book of Esther takes place in Susa, a capitol of Elam during the rulership of Ahasuerus the Persian.

Asshur is the progenitor of the Assyrians. This is why it is possible that the translation of Gen. 10:11 is Asshur going forth and establishing cities. The segue is that Nimrod is founding cities and so is Asshur. The city of Asshur and the name Assyria may have come from Asshur and it may have been taken from their god Ashur. This name occurs in several personal names, so the relationship is unclear. There could even be some ancestor worship involved. Asshur, or Assyria, is north-northwest of Babylon. See the Doctrine of the Assyrians (this doctrine has not been completed yet).

Arpachshad was the son born to Shem two years following the flood. There are only guesses as to his descendants and geography. Even the Chaldeans have been suggested as his progeny.

Lud is quite similar to Ludim but they are different people. Lud is most likely associated with Lydia. Josephus and philology back this up.

The term Aram has a very broad usage in the Bible. It is primarily used for the land which is immediately east of Galilee, dropping down in the south almost half-way to the Dead Sea, and going farther north than Israel—ZPEB shows it as a pretty good chunk of land roughly equivalent to today’s Syria (I don’t know if it goes as far north, however). Because this is from the Table of Nations, it is reasonable to suppose that this Aram is the progenitor of the Aramaic peoples. There is one manuscript where this reads sons of Aram, which is how it also reads in Genesis. However, this is not necessary in 1Chronicles.

Uz is mentioned only here and in Gen. 10 (there are two other men named Uz). However, we have the land of Uz mentioned in Job, which could have been where this particular person raised his family. However, we have not even a clue as to where Uz was. However, there are clues as to where it was in the book of Job, clues which we examined when studying the book of Job (Job 1:1).

Hul and Gether are found only here and in Genesis as well. We have Mash in Genesis, Meshech in this passage, and in the Septuagint, we have Mosoch in both passages. The m and the sh (there is no sh in the Greek; only an s) are the same. The vowels were added millenniums later, which can account for the difference there. ZPEB supposes that Mash is correct because it is a Japhetic name; I would go with the additional ch at the end because of the witness of the Septuagint (although the Syriac reads Mash). Footnote If we were dealing with a common name, it might be the difference between Bob and Bobby.

And Arpachshad sired Shelah and Shelah sired Eber.



And Arpachshad was the father of Shelah and Shelah was the father of Eber.

This is Gen. 10:24 word-for-word. Shelah and Eber are found in both passages, as well as in Gen. 11:11–15 and Luke 3:35. It is because of passage in Gen. 11 that we will be able to place the Tower of Babel a certain number of years after the flood.

Now, I have not mentioned the line of Jesus from the Book of Luke for awhile, and, if you examine Luke and this passage and Genesis, you may notice some differences. Part of the difference is spelling.

Gen. 10:24–25a (Massoretic text)

Gen. 10:24–25a (Septuagint)

Luke 3:35b–36

And Arpachshad sired Shelah and Shelah sired Eber and to Eber were born two sons, a name of the one, Peleg...

And Arphaxad sired Cainan, and Cainan sired Sala; and Sala sired Heber. And to Heber were born two sons, Phaleg...

...Peleg, [son] of Heber, [son] of Shelah, [son] of Cainan, [son] of Arphaxad, [son] of Shem, [son] of Noah, [son] of Lamech.

Now, I hope that you will notice that most of the differences are with the spelling. However, the Septuagint has a generation not found in the Massoretic text—Cainan. Cainan (which may have been Canaan in the original Hebrew) may have been purposely blotted out by a scribe, concerned that Canaan did not belong in the line of Shem (even though this would be a different Canaan). Now, why am I assuming, at this point, that there is this additional generation of Cainan in the text? It is simply because this is found in the Greek text, and some of our Greek manuscripts are less than a century older than the autographs. However, the Massoretic text is a millennium or three older than the original text (this all has to do with the medium that it was recorded on). Therefore, whenever the New Testament Greek text shed light on the Old Testament Massoretic text, it is the Greek text which is likely the most accurate (Old Testament quotes found in the New Testament are generally from the Greek Septuagint, although some are paraphrases and some are from the Hebrew).

And to Eber were born two of sons, a name of the one Peleg, for in his days divided the earth [or, land]; and a name of his brother, Joktan.



And to Eber were born two sons: one’s name was Peleg—for the earth was divided in his days—and his brother’s name was Joktan.


You may note a slightly different wording. In this verse we have the Pual perfect of yâlad (ד ַלָי) [pronounced yaw-LAHD], which means to bear, to bear. The Pual is the passive of the Piel (intensive) stem, and in the Pual, this can be rendered was born, was sired by. The Pual is used continually for actual birth (Gen. 4:26 6:1 10:21 24:15 Psalm 87:4–6), meaning that the Qal usage of the verb may not require one to be the father of the other; however, the Pual usage would require a father and son relationship. Strong’s #3205 BDB #408.


This comes directly from Gen. 10:25. Gen. 10 and 11 are parallel passages, the first dealing with the line of Noah, and the second has both the Tower of Babel incident, when God confused the languages of man, and then the descendants of Shem are examined more carefully in the second half as to their life spans. This division of the earth is equivalent to the Tower of Babel incident. The name Peleg is ג∵ל∵ [pronounced PEH-leg], and it means to divide. Strong’s #6389 BDB #811. It comes from the verb pâlag (ג-לָ) [pronounced paw-LAHG], which means to divide, to split up; which verb is used in this passage in the Niphal (passive) perfect. Strong’s #6385 BDB #811. Now there are other goofy theories about his name and about this incident, some of which relate his name to the noun for artificial channel; however, when the proper name is used with the verb in the same verse, then the two belong together. We don’t go searching through the Hebrew dictionary for a different meaning. Peleg is so named to demarcate this time when the earth was divided, due to the confusing of the languages. Our problem with setting a time is that Gen. 11 is different in the Hebrew from the Septuagint. I have set forth the differences below:

From the Massoretic Text

From the Septuagint

Commentary (Gen. 11:10–19)

Shem fathers Arpachshad two years after the floor. Arpachshad is 35 when he fathers Shelah. Shelah is 30 when he fathers Eber. Eber is 34 when he fathers Peleg, making the Tower of Babel and confusion of the languages in 101 years after the flood. Peleg was, by the way, 209 when he gave birth to Reu (he already had other sons and daughters).

Sem fathers Arphaxad at age 100, two years after the flood. Arphaxad lives 135 years and sires Cainan. Cainan lives 130 years and fathers Sala. Sala lives 130 years and fathers Heber, who lives 134 years and fathers Phaleg, who is 130 when he bears his son, Reu.

The life expectancy appeared to be around 500 years immediately following the flood, so that everyone was alive at the confusion of the languages. If the Greek text is correct, then the Tower of Babel was built 531 years after the flood, which, to me is more reasonable. Still most everyone is still alive, and we have a much larger population. The differences between the two text account for the wildly different time periods assigned between Abraham and the flood.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

Back in Gen. 11, we covered this material more thoroughly.

And Joktan fathered Almodad and Sheleph and Hazarmaveth and Jerah and Hadoram and Uzal and Diklah and Ebal [or, Obal] and Abimael and Sheba and Ophir and Havilah and Jobab—all of these sons of Joktan.



And Joktan was the ancestor of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah and Jobab—all of these were descendants of Joktan.

It’s interesting that this portion of Scripture mentions the sons of Joktan, which is what we find in Gen. 10 (almost word-for-word); however, in Gen. 11, we don’t follow Joktan, we follow the line of Peleg (and we will get back on track in the next verse). And, if you will recall, the Septuagint does not even mention the line of Joktan—again, making me think that much of this was inserted at a later date, taking directly from the book of Genesis.

Joktan would be the father to the thirteen Arab tribes mentioned in this passage. Whether he is the literal father or just the ancestor is not completely clear.

Sheleph is associated with Salaf or Sulaf in southern Arabia.

Hazarmaveth is thought to have settled in southern Arabia in the Wadi Hadhramaut. ZPEB: The modern Hadramaut is a fruitful valley running parallel to the Arabian sea coast for about 200 miles. In the days of its greatest glory (5th cent. b.c. and 1st and 2nd cent. a.d.) It was the home of a great civilization, with its capital at Shabwa. Footnote

Arab tradition says that Uzal was the original name of Sanaa, the capital of Yemen in southwestern Arabia. Footnote The Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, says that he captured the Arabian city of Azalla (Uzal?), and mentions the cities of Yarki (Jerah?) and Hurarina (Hadoram?) In this same document. The city of Uzal is mentioned in Ezek. 27:19.

Almodad, Sheba, Jerah, Hadoram, Diklah, Ebal, Abimael, Ophir, Havilah and Jobab are found only here and in Gen. 10. Cush had a couple descendants with the same or similar names as some of these (Sheba and Havilah).

Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abram, that [is] Abraham.



Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, Abram, better known as Abraham

The parallel passage from the Septuagint is: The sons of Sem: Ælam and Assur and Arphaxad and Sala and Eber and Pheleg and Ragan and Seruch and Nachor and Tharrha and Abraam. Whereas, it is not a perfect match, it is much closer than anything else that we have had thus far, making it very likely that this passage is a part of God’s Word and that it belongs here.

All we know about Reu, Serug and Nahor is that they are found here, in Gen. 10 and 11 and in Luke 3. There is another Nahor, who is younger and related to Abraham. ZPEB says he’s the second son of Terah and therefore the brother of Abraham (Gen. 11:27).

We do know a little more about Terah than the rest. He had three sons, one of whom died, leaving behind a son, Lot, who was put under the guidance of Abram (Gen. 11:27–31 13:1). He lived 205 years (Gen. 11:32—in both the Greek and Hebrew versions) and died in Haran, which is located approximately 275 miles northeast of Damascus. Footnote Terah, the father of Abram, was an idolater, worshiping Gods other than Jehovah (Joshua 24:2, 15). The thrust of Joshua’s stirring message was that Abraham chose to worship Jehovah, the God of the Universe, and that, apart from what others choose, Joshua and his family would choose to serve God as well. This means that the father of Abraham, the father of the Israelite nation, the only nation which ever lived under God as a theocracy, and Abraham, the father of our faith, had a father who was an unbeliever and who died an unbeliever.

God periodically renamed people in Scripture. Abraham’s original name was Abram, which meant exalted father; God renamed him Abraham, which means father of a multitude. God so renamed Abraham when he was 99 years old, childless, and unable to procreate. “No longer will your name be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you exceedingly prolific and I will make nations and kings come from you.” (Gen. 17:5–6).

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Descendants of Abraham

Gen. 25:12–17, 21–26

Sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael.



The sons of Abraham [were] Isaac and Ishmael.

Jews often emphasize two things which distinguish them as Jews: their racial background and their adherence to the Law, which results in a higher morality. Footnote However, we do not find that in God’s designation of the original Jews. Abraham’s father, Terah, was an idolater. A Jew never describes himself as a person with the genes of Terah, Abraham , Isaac and Jacob—he is a Jew because he has the genes of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Abraham had two brothers: Nahor and Haran. Haran died, representing what happens to those who do not believe in Jehovah Elohim, and Nahor is not related in any way to the Jew. Your closest relative is your brother or sister—however, those with the genes of Haran or Nahor only are not Jews—they are Arabs. Then Abraham had two sons: Isaac and Ishmael—Isaac was a Jew and Ishmael, the first-born, was not. In fact, Abraham had a whole slew of sons who were not Jewish—in fact, many of their ancestors are vicious enemies of the Jew.

You will note that Isaac is named first rather than Ishmael, the firstborn. This is because Isaac was the true heir to the promises which God made to Abraham.

These [are] their genealogies: first-born of Ishmael: Nebaioth and Kedar and Adbeel and Mibsam, Mishma and Dumah, Massa, Hadad and Tema; Jetur, Naphish and Kedamah—these [are] sons of Ishmael.



These [are] their genealogies: the first-born of Ishmael were Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedamah—these are the sons of Ishmael.

First of all, although this is very close to the Hebrew of Gen. 25:13–16, it does not match it exactly, as did previous sets of verses. In Gen. 25, there is a wâw conjunction between each name, along with some additional text. Interestingly enough, these verses are found in the Septuagint and there is much greater agreement than what we have seen before.

First off, there are those who are found only here and in Gen. 25 for whom there is little or no additional information: Mibsam, Mishma and Kedamah.

Although Kedar, the man, is only found here and in Gen. 25, the Arabic tribe Kedar is mentioned ten times in Scripture. These references seem to indicate a familiarity on the part of the Jews with this tribe between 1000–500 b.c., which familiarity we have since lost. The Shulammite bride of the Song of Solomon speaks of her appearance as being similar to that of the tents of Kedar and the curtains of Solomon, which were apparently black (SOS 1:5–6). In Psalm 120:5, the psalmist speaks of dwelling with those who hate peace and love war and names living in Meshech and in the tents of Kedar. Isaiah speaks of the coming Messiah in Isa. 42, and, like many of the Messianic passages, does not distinguish between the first and second advents. In the second advent of our Lord, still to come, there will be a new song sung to Jehovah which will go out a far distance from Israel. The settlement of Kedar is given as an illustration of this (Isa. 42:10–11). Interestingly enough, the animals of Kedar and Nebaioth will be offered to Jehovah (Isa. 60:5–7). Again, the meaning is that worship of the coming Messiah will originate in all far away places. It is literal as well as illustrative. Kedar again is presented as a far away place in Jer. 2:10, where God asks the hearer to look out as far as Kedar and ask, has there ever been a people such as the Jews who have abandoned their God for that which is not god? In one of the few pronouncements of God which appears to be directed toward the Arabs (Isa. 21), Kedar is presented as a prosperous area and the men of Kedar are presented as being mighty—however, conversely, Isaiah tells us that this splendor and prosperity will end (Isa. 21:16–17). Jeremiah also gave some prophecies concerning the Arabs (Jer. 49) and goes into great detail concerning the devastation of Kedar by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon (Jer. 49:28–33). Now it is interesting that this area of Arabic prosperity, far from the Israelites, yet apparently well-known to the Israelites, will disappear from history along with its prosperity, and yet surfaces again with regard to the Messiah. I can offer three possible explanations here: (1) the area, although it goes from a state of prosperity to one of almost non-existence, will return again in later history during the second advent. (2) The people of Kedar, although they disappear from history return (Israelites, according to their tribes, will play a part in the Great Tribulation). (3) Kedar is illustrative of Arab prosperity at its peak; it fades, and later it returns and pays homage to the True God. Finally, in a lament over the great ancient city of Tyre, Tyre is said to be involved in extensive trade with a huge variety of peoples, including the princes of Kedar (Ezek. 27:21).

There are fewer references to Kedar in Arabic literature than one would think, but that is primarily because we have a dearth of Arabic literature up until the rise of Islam in the 7th century a.d. However, we find mentions of Kedar in non-Arabic literature. Ashurbanipal, Assyria’s last great king (668–632 b.c.), in his annals, mentions his attack against Kedar, evidently a powerful group of people in Northern Arabia. There is also an Aramæan inscription which mentions Geshem, the king of Kedar, and that there were Kedarites at the eastern border of Egypt, perhaps stations there as guard by the Persians. This inscription was discovered in Egypt and dates back to the 5th century b.c. The Geshem mentioned could by the same fellow from Neh. 2:19 6:1–6. Apparently, the attacks of the Assyrian and Babylonian kings, Ashurbanipal and Nebuchadnezzar, decimated the people and area of Kedar, causing them to fade from history. Finally, as a post script, the heathen prophet Mohammed is said to have been descended from Abraham through Ishmael and Kedar (well, duh!—they’re not going to choose the least-known tribe for Mohammed’s pedigree). Footnote

Adbeel means languishing for God or miracle of God, which is possibly Arabic. It is thought that his descendants were known as Idibi ilu, which is a Bedouin Aramæan tribe, which information is gotten from documents attributed to Tiglath Pileser, the Assyrian king. Footnote

Dumah, found only in these two passages, is identified with Dumat al Gandal, which is the capital of the district of Gawf. It is an oasis between the head of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aqaba. There are royal documents from Assyrian and Babylonian from the 7th and 6th centuries b.c. which refer to the destruction of the Adummatu, which could be the descendants of Dumah. Footnote

Although the Arabic tribe of Massa is only found only here and in Gen. 25, Tiglath-Pileser III mentions that the inhabitants of Mas̓a at Tema paid tribute (along with others) and that they lived towards the west. It is possible that these two tribes, Massa and Tema, lived together. This Tema of old is identified with Teima of today, which is located in NW Arabia.

Although some Bibles list him as Hadad and others are Hadar, in my Hebrew Bible, it is Hadad in both passages. The equivalent name in the Greek is almost unrecognizable: Chandan. Hadad today is a very common Arabic name. In Jeremiah’s pronouncement against the Arab peoples, Ben-Hadad (son of Hadad) is mentioned in Jer. 49:27The first of Nebuchadnezzar begins in Damascus, but it “...devours the fortified towers of Ben-Hadad.”

Tema is one of the few connections that we see between the Book of Job and the rest of the Bible. It has always been assumed that the Book of Job should be a part of the Hebrew canon, but, apart from theology, there are very few places where Job overlaps with the rest of Scripture. However, Job mentions the caravans of Tema in Job 6:19 (as well as the travelers of Sheba), indicating that Tema was a group of Arab traders. Tema was destroyed by Nabonidus, the last king of the Neo-Babylonian (or Chaldean empire—556–539 b.c.). Nabonidus killed the itinerant population, razed the city, and then built a new city over the ruins and made Tema the capital of the western portion of his empire (this is all according to an Akkadian inscription entitled A Persian Verse Account of Nabonidus). Other ancient chronicles indicate that Nabonidus lived in Tema for another 17 years, sometimes not returning to Babylon for years at a time. Footnote

Jetur is also mentioned in 1Chron. 5:19; the two and a half tribes of east Israel war against them. ZPEB supposes that from Jetur came the Ituræans of the New Testament. ZPEB gives the city and people of Ituræa a full page, admitting that there is certainly disagreement as to the connection, if any, between Jetur and Ituræa. There are definite similarities between the Greek name Iettour (̓Ιεττοὺρ) [pronounced eit-TOUR], which is found here in the Septuagint, and the Greek name Itouraia (̓Ιτουραία) [pronounced ei-tou-RIH-ah], but there are not enough to conclusively say that they are equivalent.

Naphish, along with Jetur, is mentioned as one of the Arabian tribes which made war against the eastern tribes of Israel in 1Chron. 5:19. Although there is a Naphish mentioned in Ezra 2:50 and Neh. 7:52, he is a Levite, and therefore not related to Naphish the Arab.

And sons of Keturah a concubine of Abraham: she bore Zimran and Jokshan and Medan and Midian and Ishbak and Shuah. And sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan; and sons of Midian: Ephah and Epher and Hanoch and Abida and Eldaah—all of these sons of Keturah.



The sons of Keturah (Abraham’s mistress): she gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. And sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan; and sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah—all of these were sons by Keturah.


Interestingly enough, as you will recall, the passages in question throughout this chapter matched their corresponding passages in Genesis exactly. Here, although the subject matter is the same as that which is found in Gen. 25, there are several differences. Gen. 25:1 tells us that Moses took another woman (in some cases, the word used there could be rendered wife) (the literal rendering of Gen. 25:1 is: And so Abraham added and took a woman and her name [was] Keturah). In this verse (as well as in Gen. 25:5–6), we are told that Keturah is a concubine (or a mistress) of Moses. The word is pîylegesh (ש∵ג∵לי.) [pronounced pee-LEH-gesh], which means mistress, paramour, illicit lover, concubine. Strong’s #6370 BDB #811.

Sarah, Abraham’s right woman, died at age 127 (Gen. 23:1). Abraham later took another woman named Keturah. Abraham had at least six children with her. Of these children, Ishbak, Jokshan, Medan, Shuah and Zimran are not mentioned in the Bible except for this passage and Gen. 25:2. Only the sons of Midian are identifiably found again in ancient history. They occupied an area east of Mt. Sinai, on the other side of the gulf of Aqaba. Their relationship with the Jews was good to begin with. Moses fled to their land from the Pharaoh after he had killed the Egyptian taskmaster. Moses married a Midianite from that area. After that, as Israel moved toward independence and toward the land that God had given them, their relationship with Midian deteriorated a great deal. In fact, the Midianites degenerated to a point where God ordered the execution of their males and married females (Num. 25:17 31:1–3, 16–17). I should mention that, given all of the sons of Midian, that the term Midianite could refer to one of several groups, some of whom were antagonistic toward Israel and others who acted favorably towards Israel. This would explain how, early on in history, God would order Israel to destroy all of the male and married females of Midian, and yet Midian continues to show up in Israel’s history subsequent to that. The Doctrine of the Midianites has not yet been completed.

Jokshan had the sons Sheba and Dedan. Because we are clear on the family line, this is not the same Sheba who was mentioned in Gen. 10:28 1Chron. 1:22 (his father’s name was Joktan and they were in the line of Shem). Nor is this the more famous Sheba mentioned in Gen. 10:7 1Chron. 1:9 (his father was Raamah). Just because Sheba ben Jokshan has a brother named Dedan like Sheba ben Raamah does not mean that they are the same person. This particular Dedan is also found only here and in Gen. 25.

Ephah is named again in Isa. 60:6 as being famous, along with Midian, for his (actually, their) camels. As would be expected, Epher, Abida, Hanoch Footnote and Eldaah are mentioned only here and in Gen. 25. God had promised to give a land grant to Abraham through his son Isaac. Therefore, while he was still alive, he gave these sons their inheritance (gifts) and sent them packing to the east (Gen. 25:6).

And so fathered Abraham Isaac; sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel.



Abraham also sired Isaac, whose sons [were] Esau and Israel.

Just in case you thought the difference between those who are saved and those who are not saved is behavior, think again. Jacob, also known as Israel, was a manipulator for most of his life; what he did in his youth stands in stark contrast to Esau, his brother. However, Israel was a part of the promise and Esau was not. The difference was Israel’s relationship to God. Their lives are chronicled in Gen. 25:22–34 27:1–28:9 32:1–33:20. In fact, although he is never so cited, Jacob was no doubt the author for one of the largest portions of the book of Genesis. Not only are several chapters devoted to his life, including emotions that he had concerning Esau, but there is a passage that only a man in love would write (Gen. 29:20). However, what you will notice throughout most of this personal history is that Jacob was conniving and manipulative, whereas Esau had very few negative points. However, the difference is relationship to God, not behavior. It is unfortunate when the unbeliever shows greater morality than the believer, but that does happen.

Esau and Jacob were twins—Esau was an Arab and Jacob was a Jew. Esau was the oldest, and therefore entitled to the privileges of the firstborn. However, on at least two recorded occasions, Jacob manipulated the situation so that these privileges fell to him. When Esau was absolutely starved after returning from a hunting expedition, he traded his birthright for some baked beans which Jacob had made. When Isaac was conferring his final blessing on his sons, Jacob was brought before Isaac, pretending to be Esau (at his mother’s prodding and plotting).

Now Esau was certainly not perfect. He married two Hittite women (Gen. 26:34) instead of marrying someone who was a descendant or a relation to Abraham. The problem was not genetics, the problem was religious background. Esau did not seem to embrace the God of Abraham and Isaac. Jacob did not seem to embrace Jehovah-Elohim either, but he did believe in Him (Gen. 28:11–22). When Jacob caused his father to give him the greater blessing, Esau was upset and Jacob wisely left, at age 77, by the way, to go to where his mother’s parents lived, in northern Mesopotamia.

In the absence of Jacob, Esau had become quite prosperous himself. He apparently, after the time had gone by, forgiven his brother for his deceit. Meanwhile, at their reunion, Jacob went back to his normal modus operandi of attempting to manipulate his brother—that is, he showed Esau with gifts, hoping to appease his anger, only to find that Esau had simply let it go. Jacob returned to the Land of Canaan and Esau returned to the region of Mt. Seir (south of the Dead Sea) and founded Edom.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Line of Esau

Gen. 36:10–19

Sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel and Jeush and Jalam and Korah.



The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah.

Again, this verse accords well with the Septuagint yet does match the Genesis version (Gen. 36:10, 14) word-for-word, as did certain passages in the Massoretic text earlier in this chapter. This is what we would expect. Let’s try to get the big picture first: there are those who belong to God, His chosen. Then there are those who reject Him. We are following the unsaved line here, if you will. Scripture concentrates on one genealogical line: from Adam to Jesus. However, that does not mean that God has no interest in man. God has sent His Son to be a sacrifice for all mankind, both the saved and the unsaved. He is not willing that any should perish. He has an interest in every man, which is one reason that we follow these secondary lines for awhile. Secondly, these additional lines provide us with important clues as to time and place of other events in Scripture (as we just examined Eliphaz, who is found in the book of Job).

With Eliphaz, we have an interesting proposition—could this be the same Eliphaz as we find in the book of Job? If he was, this would help place the book of Job into a time frame. Let’s look at a chart:

Eliphaz, the son of Esau

Eliphaz, the friend of Job

1.    He is the son of Esau and Adah (Gen. 36:4, 10 1Chron. 1:35).

2.    He is the father of Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz (Gen. 36:11, 15–16).

3.    Eliphaz had a mistress, Timna, who bore him Amalek (Gen. 36:12).

4.    Eliphaz was apparently an important figure in Edom, as all five of his sons and two of his grandsons were chiefs in Edom (Gen. 35:15–16).

1.    It is Eliphaz, more than anything else, which helps us to place the book of Job into a reasonably time frame.

2.    Eliphaz is called a Temanite in Job 2:11. Although this does not automatically mean that these two men are different, this could imply such a thing (as the son of Eliphaz ben Esau is Teman).

3.    There is definitely a district or nation in Edom named Teman, known for its wisdom (Jer. 49:7). Logically, Eliphaz would have come from this Teman.

4.    Eliphaz appears to be the leader and the spokesman for the three friends; he is named first (Job 2:11), he speaks first (Job 4:1), and God speaks to him, rather than to him and his two associates (Job 42:7). This would be expected of the son of the founder of a nation.

5.    Eliphaz did have a dream, which he counted as divine revelation (Gen. 4:12–21), which would have been a reasonable conclusion (compare Jacob’s dream in Gen. 28:10–16 and Joseph’s in Gen. 37:5–10).


1.Are they related? Most definitely. There are two many parallels for them not to be.

2.Are they the same person? This is tougher. Even ZPEB does not have two different listings,1 which, in itself, does not prove anything, of course. Since five of his sons were rulers in Edom, it would be reasonable for various districts to be named after them. Eliphaz would likely have lived in the same area with his sons and this area could have been called Teman and Eliphaz would have, therefore, been called a Temanite. However, just as likely, a son or grandson of Teman could have been named Eliphaz, and that could be the Eliphaz of the book of Job.

3.The leadership roll which Eliphaz appears to have in Job would befit a man who is the son of the founder of a nation.

4.Job lived 140 years seeing four generations follow him (recall that his first family died out—all but his nagging wife; Job 42:16). Abraham lived for 175 years (Gen. 25:7). Since the life spans of man decreased sharply after the flood eventually to about age 70 (Gen. 11:10–32 Psalm 90:10), the time period for the two Eliphaz’s would have to be very close. That is, if they were not the same person, Job’s friend, Eliphaz, would have to be the grandson or great grandson of Eliphaz. Although the line of Esau is not fully explored, we do not find an additional Eliphaz in that line.

1 ZPEB lists each and every person mentioned in the Bible along with each and every location, town and city mentioned. Therefore, Eliphaz, the son of Esau, was not left out.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

Alright, we already handled the first son. The next is Reuel, who is found several times in Scripture (more than you would think: Gen. 36:3–4, 10, 13, 17 1Chron. 1:35, 37); however it only identifies him as the son of Esau by Basemath, as the father of four, and as an Edomite clan chief. Basemath, by the way, would have been Esau’s first cousin. She is the daughter of Ishmael. Recall that Isaac and Ishmael were both sons of Abraham (by different wives). Isaac fathered twins, Esau and Jacob, so that Ishmael would have been Esau’s uncle (to be precise, half-uncle). Therefore, Basemath would have been Esau’s cousin. This is okay, as Esau seemed to marry everything in sight (maybe I exaggerated; he apparently took on three wives—Gen. 36:2–3).

We know equally little about Jeush and Jalam. Korah, quite obviously, is not the same Korah of Korah’s rebellion as we read about in the book of Numbers. They are not of the same race or nation and they are removed by several hundred years. These three men are found only in these two passages.

Sons of Eliphaz: Teman and Omar, Zephi [or, Zepho] and Gatam, Kenaz and Timna and Amalek.



The sons of Eliphaz [were] Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna and Amalek.

These seven men are the grandsons of Esau, son of Abraham (of course, they could be further down the line of descent). Teman simply means south and, as we have discussed, he is probably the man for which the northern Edomite city was named. The men who came from him as well as from his city were known as Temanites, which included Eliphaz of the book of Job, as we have just discussed. Given the information which we covered, the Eliphaz of Job either had to be Teman’s father, or son or grandson. There would be too many problems for him to have come along much later than that.

Zephi is found here and in Gen. 36:11, 15, where he is called Zepho, which is also the reading in one early printed edition. Footnote The difference can be attributed to a very simple, early scribal error. In the Greek Septuagint, he is called Sophar.

Kenaz is only mentioned here and in Gen. 36. There is a Kenaz who comes many generations later who is the brother of Caleb. There is also a tribe known as the Kenizzites (Gen. 15:19 Num. 32:12 Joshua 14:6, 14) who are not related to this Kenaz, the reason being is that the land of the Kenizzites is promised to Abraham at a time prior to Kenaz being born (Gen. 15:19). Certainly, this could be a promise given to include possession of people not already in existence, but I seriously doubt that. For a prophetic prophecy to have an impact is for it to be tied to the time period of the person to whom the promise is made. God is not going to rattle off the names of 10 tribes whose territory will be given to Abraham’s seed if Abraham has never heard of these tribes before.

Amalek, on the other hand, is the real deal. We covered the Doctrine of the Amalekites in Num. 24:20. Now, after my citing Gen. 15:19 as proof that Kenaz was not the progenitor of the Kenizzites, you may be tempted to point out that Gen. 14:7 mentions the land of Amalekites. Probably, as a help to later readers, this land was so identified by a later author-editor, who knew of Amalek and the Amalekites (as he would have also read/authored/edited Gen. 36).

Recall first that Eliphaz had a mistress Timna. Here, his son is named Timna, although he could be grandson or even further down the line. He is not mentioned in the immediate line of Esau or Eliphaz in Gen. 36:10–39; however, he is named as a chief who was descended from Esau in Gen. 36:40. The NIV Study Bible becomes concerned over this and renders this ...by Timna, Amalek, citing the Septuagint to back up their translation. In my version of the Septuagint, it simply reads, and Timna, and Amalek. Comment It is certainly reasonable that the Timna found here could either be the mistress of Eliphaz and that the chronicler left out the relationship terminology, or that Timna is simply a descendant of Eliphaz. The NIV Study Bible suggests, in the alternate, that this could be an example of genetic fluidity. That is, Timna is really a descendant of Eliphaz, although a grandson or great grandson. Because he became a chief and renown, he was promoted, so to speak, further on up the line and closer to Eliphaz. This is not suddenly implying that he is now a son (as we know it) of Eliphaz, but simply a descendant of greater importance, and therefore listed among the big boys.

Omar and Gatam are mentioned only here and in Gen. 36.

Sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah.



The sons of Reuel [were] Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah.

Nahath is mentioned here and Gen. 36:13 as Reuel’s son and in Gen. 36:17 as a chief in Edom. Ditto for Shammah and Mizzah. There are several Zerah’s in Scripture, and this particular one was possibly the father to an early Edomite king (Gen. 36:33 1Chron. 1:44).

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Line of Seir

Gen. 36:20–28

And sons of Seir: Lotan and Shobal and Zibeon and Anah and Dishon and Ezer and Dishan.



The sons and grandsons of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan.

Here is an unusual thing. The name of Seir just pops out of nowhere, as it does in Gen. 36:30. That is, we do not find the phrase and Bob was the father of Seir in this chapter or in Gen. 36. It is not that Mount Seir is unknown (in fact, it is mentioned in Gen. 36:3, 9), but that the man for whom it is named is not identified any further in this verse or elsewhere. However, we find out in Gen. 36:20 that he is a Horite and we see that Horites occupied the land of Seir (Gen. 14:6 Joshua 24:4). What happened was the Edomites moved into the area where the sons of Seir lived the Edomites destroyed them and took their land (Deut. 2:12). There is a great deal of disagreement as to who the Horites were. Furthermore, they are found very few times in Scripture. We might as well take this in points:

The Horites

1.    Apparently Seir and his family, or Seir and some of his antecedents, moved into the land of Seir (northern Edom). It would be reasonable that the land was named after this otherwise unknown eponym. These were Horites (Gen. 36:20–21, 29–30).

2.    It appears as though, from 1Chron. 1:38–39, that the Horites came from Seir and not the other way around. This would suggest that Seir was a Hittite who moved to Seir and that his descendants through his grandson Hori were Horites.

3.    At one time, the king of Elam, Chedorlaomer (think of him more as the leader of a small city-area) conquered the Horites in Seir (Gen. 14:4–6). This would have been around the time of Abraham while he was still Abram and essentially a young man, married to Sarai and somewhat responsible for Lot, his nephew (Lot was actually a grown man by this time and they were separated).

4.    By the number of chiefs named in Seir (7), it appears as though there was a significant number of Horites living in the land of Seir at one time (Gen. 36:29–30).

5.    Esau moved to the land of Seir and lived in the hill country there (Gen. 36:8–9).

6.    Immediately following this list of Horite chiefs in Gen. 36 is a list of Edomite kings (Edom is the same area as Seir)—and a later editor points out that there were kings is Edom long before there were kings in Israel (Gen. 36:31).

7.    Moses later tells us that the Edomites displaced the destroyed the Horites in Seir (Deut. 2:12).

8.    More information can be found under the Doctrine of the Horites/Hivites covered in Gen. 36:21.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

Surprisingly enough, we find Lotan mentioned in five verses of Scripture: Gen. 36:20, 22, 29 1Chron. 1:38–39, but only in genealogical lines or in lists of chiefs. His lineage will be covered in the next verse. Ditto for Shobal, Dishon, Ezer Footnote and Dishan (Gen. 36:20–30 1Chron. 1:38–42).

Esau married the granddaughter of Zibeon (Gen. 36:2), who is called a Hivite, but some believe that the text should probably read Horite. Zibeon’s son was Anah (Gen. 36:2, 24), whose sons are listed below in v. 41, and whose daughter married Esau. In fact, Zibeon named his children Anah, Adah and Alah.

And sons of Lotan: Hori and Homam and a sister of Lotan, Timna.



Lotan’s sons were Hori and Homam; his sister was Timna.

Although this appears to be exactly the same as Gen. 36:22, it is not. There are a couple of minor differences in the words used. One is that Gen. 36:22 begins with a verb, which would be in keeping with their method of listing a chronology. This does not, which is more in keeping with the more abbreviated style of this first portion of Chronicles. Also, Homam, in Gen. 36:22, is Hemam. Although it is more than a simple difference of vowel points (in the Hebrew, Homam has a long ôw and Hemam has a long êy, such a blurring of letters would be easy to do with a poor manuscript. The Greek has Hemam, more or less, in both passages. There is actually a slight difference in the Greek as well, but not exactly the same one. Other than the fact that people had trouble spelling his name, we know nothing more about Hemam.

ZPEB suggests that Hori is the progenitor of the Horites, which would make sense, given his name, given that this would be the correct location, and given the fact that the Horites are but a footnote in history. Recall that Seir, his grandfather, is called a Horite. However, our problem is one of timing. If Hori is the progenitor of the Horites, then this possibly throws a few things out of wack.

One of the difficult things to do was to represent these family lines in such a way as to be easy to follow by the casual observer. I tried a table with 120 little cells—that didn’t work; I tried even pencil and paper—that didn’t work; I even considered genealogical software. Then, as I was sketching on paper, I realized that the family, once you pick a person from the top, is simply an outline, which is very easy for the casual reader to follow.

The Lines of Seir and Esau

The Sons of Seir (called a Horite in Gen. 36:20)

The Sons of Esau by his Various Wives

We do not know anything about Seir’s family background

I.     Lotan, who is said to be a chief in Gen. 36:29, and called of the Horites in Gen. 36:29 (1Chron. 1:38)

       A.    Hori and Hemam (called Homam in 1Chron. 1:39)

II.    Shobal (Gen. 36:20, 23 1Chron. 1:40 and called a chief in Gen. 36:29)

       A.    Alvan (or, Alian), Manahath, Ebal, Shepho (or Shephi), Onam

III.   Zibeon (Gen. 36:24; a chief in Gen. 36:29)

       A.    Alah

       B.    Anah (called a son of Seir, but probably a grandson—cp Gen. 36:20–21, 24; called a chief in Gen. 36:29)

               1.    Dishon (called a son of Seir, but probably a great grandson—cp Gen. 36:20–21, 25; called a chief in Gen. 36:30)

                       a.    Hemdan (or, Hamran), Eshban, Ithran, Cheran (1Chron. 1:41)

               2.    Oholibamah (daughter)

IV.   Ezer (Gen. 36:21, 27, 30 1Chron. 1:42)

       A.    Bilhan, Zaavan, Akan

V.    Dishan (Gen. 36:21, 28, 30 1Chron. 1:42)

       A.    Uz and Aran

VI.   Timna, who is called the sister of Lotan; but not called the daughter of Seir; she becomes the mistress of Eliphaz, the son of Esau (Gen. 36:12, 22 1Chron. 1:39)

Esau is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and the brother of Jacob

I.     Esau married Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite. No children are named (Gen. 26:34)

II.    He also married Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite (Gen. 26:34)

III.   By wife Adah, also a daughter of Elon the Hittite (Gen. 36:2, 4, 10–12, 15–16 1Chron. 1:35–36): Eliphaz

       A.    Eliphaz’s children: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, Kenaz (Korah is listed as a chief twice but as a son once; the first time is possibly a gloss)

       B.    Eliphaz’s child by Timna, his mistress: Amalek (Gen. 36:12)

IV.   By Oholibamah, daughter of Anah and the granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite (Gen. 36:14):

       A.    Jeush

       B.    Jalam

       C.    Korah

V.    By Basemath (Ishmael’s daughter and sister of Nebaioth, and also called Mahalath in Gen. 28:9 (Gen. 36:3–4, 10, 17): Reuel

       A.    Reuel’s children: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, Mizzah (Gen. 36:13 1Chron. 1:37)

Legend:I.Charley Brown (who is designated a chief)

A.Lucy (who is in the line of Seir, but a wife of someone in the line of Esau)

B.Pigpen (some old, dead dude)

One of the reasons I put this table together was to separate the names of all the players and to organize them. It’s also important to note that the lines of Seir and Esau are generally followed out to those who had some small human position in life and their children, and then the line is no longer followed. Furthermore, it is important to see the close ties between the people of Seir and the people of Edom, who began as two separate peoples, partially merged, and then became antagonistic toward one another.

You may wonder why Timna is named, as women’s names are rare in genealogies. Timna was the daughter (actually, granddaughter) of Seir. She married Eliphaz, the son of Esau, and they had a son, the infamous Amalek.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

Sons of Shobal: Alian and Manahath and Ebal, Shephi and Onam. And sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah.



The sons of Shobal were Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi and Onam. The sons of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah.

Alian (or, Alvin in Gen. 36:23 and Elvan in two early printed editions) and Shephi (or, Shepho) are found only here and in Gen. 36. The same is true for Ebal, Footnote Manahath and Onam.

Anah was the father of Oholibamah, a woman who married Esau (one of the many) in Gen. 36:2. This would indicate that Esau might be 100 years younger than Seir and that Seir and his clan was well-established in Seir prior to Esau moving there. Anah is called a Hivite, which possibly should read Horite in Gen. 36:2 (since Seir was a Horite and her great grandfather). Although it appears in Gen. 36:20 that Anah and Zibeon are brothers, Anah is the son of Zibeon (they are all descendants of Seir).

Sons of Anah: Dishon; and sons of Dishon: Hamran [or Hemdan] and Eshban and Ithran and Cheran.



Dishon was the son of Anah; and Dishon’s sons were Hamran, Eshban, Ithran and Cheran.

Dishon, like Anah, appears to be the son of Seir from Gen. 36:20–21; however, he is Seir’s descendant (probably a grandson) through his father Anah, the son of Zibeon who is the son of Seir. This is not some tricky thing to work out in the Hebrew—son of essentially means descendant of. Both the later portion of Gen. 36 and this verse explain more precisely how Dishon is a descendant of Seir.

Like the other lines, we follow this one to those who were chiefs, e.g., Dishon, and then his children are named, and we end the line. Appropriately, we do not here anything from Hamran (Hemdan in Gen. 36:26), Eshban, Ithran or Cheran again.

Sons of Ezer: Bilhan and Zaavan, Jaakan [or, Akan]. Sons of Dishan [lit., Dishon]: Uz and Aran.



The sons of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan, and Jaakan. Uz and Aran were the sons of Dishan.

The names Dishan and Dishon are slightly mixed up in Scripture.




Parallel passages where we should expect to find Dishon and then Dishan:

Gen. 36:21: as expected.

1Chron. 1:38: as expected.

Gen. 36:21: Dison and then Rison.

1Chron. 1:38: Deson and then Desan.

Parallel Passages where we should find Dishon:

Gen. 36:25–26: Dishon, son of Anah and then Dishan (we would expect Dishon).

1Chron. 1:41: Dishon (son of Anah), and then Dishon again.

Gen. 36:25–26: Deson, son of Ana, and then Deson again.

1Chron. 1:41: Dæson (son of Sonan).

Parallel Passages where we expect to find Dishan:

Gen. 36:28: Dishan

1Chron. 1:42: Dishan

Gen. 36:28: Rison (we would expect Disan or Risan).

1Chron. 1:42: Disan.

We find Dishan, Dishon, Bilhan, Aran and Zaavan only in the two Arab genealogies.

Ben-Jaakan means sons of Jaakan, and we find that in Num. 33:31–32 (it is one of the places where Israel was during the wandering). It was one stop later where Aaron died (Deut. 10:6).

It is presumed that this Uz settled in east of Palestine on the border of Arabia, and that general area became known as the land of Uz, made famous in the Bible because of Job, who lived in the land of Uz. Uz, the person, is possibly the grandson of Seir, who may have preceded Esau by 50–100 years. Uz may have possibly settled in his own area by the time Esau was born.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Kings of Edom

Gen. 36:31–39

And these the kings who reigned in a land of Edom before reigned a king for sons of Israel: Bela ben Beor and a name of his city Dinhabah.



And what follows is a list of the kings who ruled in Edom prior to any king ruling over Israel: Bela, the son of Beor; the name of his city was Dinhabah.

The chronicler spends an inordinate amount of time on this line of Edom, listing the kings and chiefs, in contrast to the little time spent with the line of Cain or Ishmael. The NIV Study Bible suggests that Edom was more important to Israel at the time that this was recorded, so more time is afforded to them. Footnote However, the simple fact of the matter is, these are simply the genealogies of Genesis gathered together in one place. As I have mentioned, I believe that these lines were actually edited much more than we find them here, still, about 90% of those named in various genealogical lines in Genesis are found here.

It is interesting that we begin with the name of a king whose name is not found under the descendants of Seir or of Esau. Because we are used to thinking chronologically, we might assume that these kings ruled over the land of Edom prior to Seir and Esau coming into the land, as the chiefs found in those lines are listed at the end of this chapter. However, the chiefs from Horites are listed first in Genesis, and the kings are listed afterward, and then the chiefs from Edom are listed. Chronicles does not list the chiefs from the Horites. My first guess is that we have these chiefs, or elders, if you will, first, and that the kings came later. I don’t know why the author of Chronicles lists the chiefs last. My second hypothesis is that there was an overlap—we have the chiefs of the Horites ruling first; then, with a slight overlap, a group of kings; and then, with a slight overlap, Edomites who were chiefs. The NRSV lists this latter group simply as various clans which came out of the Edomites, rather than as chiefs.

There have been comparisons made between Balaam ben Beor in Num. 22–25 and Bela ben Beor in this passage. However, Balaam was from Pethor, which is in northern Mesopotamia on the western banks of the Upper Euphrates. Footnote Bela’s city is Dinhabah (unknown apart from this passage). Also, Bela is made out to be a king of Edom, which is quite a distance away. Balaam’s behavior in Numbers is not characteristic of a king of any kind (he’s got himself up for hire to the highest bidder and he picks up a leaves his area in order to make some extra cash). Therefore, despite the similarity of names, these are not one and the same.

And so died Bela and reigned for him Jobab ben Zerah of Bozrah.



Bela died and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah ruled over Edom in his stead.

We have already seen another man named Jobab, a son of Joktan (1Chron. 1:23) in a completely different line from a completely different time. However, this Jobab could very well have been descended from the Zerah mentioned in 1Chron. 1:37. Bozrah can be reasonably identified with today’s Buseireh, which is Situated at the head of the Wadi Hamayideh on a rocky isolated bluff surrounded on three sides by steep valleys, approximately thirty miles north of Petra...[it is] strongly fortified and virtually impregnable. Footnote We find prophets referring to this city of Edom repeatedly as a bastion of impregnation (Isa. 34:6 63:1 Jer. 49:13, 22 Amos 1:12). Footnote This is not the same as the city of Moab named in Jer. 48:24.

And so died Jobab and so reigned for him Husham from land of the Temanites.



Then Jobab died and in his stead, Husham from the land of the Temanites reigned.

Husham is mentioned only here. As you will recall, Teman is the first son of Esau by Adah the Hittite. The city of Teman is mentioned in Jer. 49:20 Ezek. 25:13, and it was probably the home to Teman and his descendants, and this was where one of Job’s friends came from (Eliphaz). As has been mentioned, the father of Teman was named Eliphaz, and we have discussed whether or not these are one and the same (v. 35). Some archeologists place Teman in northern Edom in modern Tawilan, three miles east of Petra. The excavations of Tawilan indicate that it was the site of a large Edomite fortification at one time. There is a lot of early iron and pottery, and this was possibly the largest city in Edom from that time period. Teman, the city, is mentioned by several prophets (Jer. 49:20 Ezek. 25:13 Amos 1:12 Obad. 9 Habak. 3:3). Teman and Dedan are generally mentioned together in these prophecies as opposite boundary cities of Edom. Footnote

And so died Husham and so reigned for him Hadad ben Bedad the defeater of Midian in a country of Moab; and a name of his city Avith.



When Husham died, Hadad, the son of Bedad, reigned in his stead. Hadad had defeated Midian in the country of Moab; the name of his city was Avith.

As you probably know, the Arabic name Hadad is somewhat similar to the English name Smith. So it is in Scripture—there are four men named Hadad in Scripture, as well as one god. Two of the men were kings of Edom (See 1Chron. 1:50–51). This king’s father, Bedad, is mentioned only here. The city of Avith is also unknown apart from its mention here and in Gen. 36. However, on the other hand, we know more about this particular king of Edom. The geography of this skirmish is interesting. Moab is due east of the bottom half of the Dead Sea, and Edom is south of Moab and of the Dead Sea. Further south, by the Gulf of Aqaba at the Red Sea is Midian. In other words, Edom sits between Midian and Moab. What this suggests is that Midian overran Moab and Edom defeated Midian in the land of Moab.

And so died Hadad and so reigned for him Samlah from Masrekah.



When Hadad died, then Samlah of Masrekah, reigned in his stead.

Both Samlah and his city Masrekah are unknown apart from this passage and Gen. 36. You will note that no father is named here, as is the case in the next verse.

And so died Samlah and so reigned for him Shaul from Rehoboth the River.



When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth on the Euphrates reigned in his stead.

There are three different Shaul’s found in Scripture. This one is found only here and in Gen. 36 ( and some translations render his name Saul). This Rehoboth (not the same as the one in southern Judah) is identified with the River, which refers to the Euphrates River. Apart from this passage and its sister passage in Genesis, we know nothing about this city—and certainly, it has never been identified. What is unusual is that the ruler of Edom came from a place so far from Edom.

And so died Shaul and so reigned for him Baal-hanan ben Achbor.



When Shaul died, Baal-hanan, the son of Achbor, reigned in his stead.

There were two Baal-hanan’s in Scripture—this king is found only here and in Genesis. Ditto for his dad.

And so died Baal-hanan and so reigned for him Hadad—and a name of his city, Pai [or, Pau]; and a name [or, Hadar] of his woman, Mehetabel, daughter of Matred daughter of Mezahab.



When Baal-hanan died, Hadad reigned in his stead. Hadad’s city was Pai, and his wife’s name was Mehetabel, who was the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.

In one early printed edition, Baal-hanan is called son of Achbor.

First off, his name is Hadad here, but Hadar in Gen. 36:39. As we have discussed, the d and r in Hebrew appear very similar and can easily be mistaken for one another. He is Hadar in four early printed editions, as well as in the Vulgate. In the Greek, he is Arad, son of Barad in Gen. 36:39 (there’s no son of anybody in the Hebrew); and he is Arad son of Badad in the Septuagint in this passage. It is slight discrepancies such as this which tell us that the chain of manuscripts leading to the Septuagint were different than the chain leading to the Massoretic text. Pai (or, Pau in Gen. 36) is unknown apart from these two passages.

More interesting is the naming of all the women in this verse. My first thought is that Edom was temporarily overrun from foreigners from the area of the Euphrates; however, rather than taking the land back, there was a marriage of families which linked the peoples rather than placed them at odds with one another. The women are named only here and in Gen. 36, and in the Septuagint in Genesis, Matred is called the son of Mezahab. Also, this appears to be copied right directly from Gen. 36:39, making this verse suspect in my opinion. In the Septuagint, it simply reads: And Balaennor died, and Adad son of Barad reigned in his stead; and the name of his city Phogor. My thinking is that, at some point, the Massoretic text was so crappy that the Massorites (or some predecessor scribe) simply lifted the text from Genesis at this point (this would have occurred after the translating of the LXX). However, that is only a guess.

And so died Hadad [or, Hadar].



Then Hadad died.

V. 51a is not a part of the Septuagint nor does it follow Gen. 36:39. Although we can probably reasonably assert that Hadad (or, Hadar) did in fact die; we do not know why this is missing from the LXX. One problem with the verse division is, this clearly belongs with v. 50 and does not belong with v. 51 (the verse divisions were added long after the original text was laid down). A couple of translations leave this half of v. 51 out altogether: the CEV and the TEV. By far, the majority of the translations separate v. 51a from 51b (e.g., God’s Word, the NIV, the NRSV, the NKJV). Verse division is not inspired and their choices at times are hard to understand—this being a chief example.

Return to Outline

Return to the Chart Index

The Chiefs of Edom

Gen. 36:40–43

And so were chiefs of Edom: chief Timna, chief Aliah [or, Alvah], chief Jetheth,



These are the sheiks of Edom: sheik Timna, sheik Aliah, sheik Jetheth,


This verse begins with the wâw consecutive, the 3rd person masculine plural of to be, and the masculine plural noun allûwph (ף ַא) [pronounced ahl-LOOF] [also, allûph (ףֻ-א)], and this is one tough word to figure out. Most translations go with leader, a tribal leader, chief, sheik. This is primarily applied to leaders of groups which are not Jewish. However, there are a few translations which render this clans (the JPS, a Jewish translation; the NRSV). Whereas, these translations are in the minority, they still caught my attention. In examining the different places where allûph is found, most of the time, context would allow the translation to go either way—it could refer to clans or familial groups of people as well as to clan leaders. What makes it even more difficult, is that allûwph is a homonym. So, I looked at the Greek—the Septuagint word which translations this particular word. The Septuagint uses the word hêgemôn (ἡγεμν) [pronounced hayg-em-OWN], which means prince, governor, leader, chief. (Strong’s #2232). Therefore, I will settle upon this as the true meaning of allûph as well. Let me add, allûwph is also closely aligned to the word for a thousand and refers to a leader, ruler, prince, chief or a chiliarch (Gen. 36:15–19 Ex. 15:15 Jer. 3:4). Because this word is related to the word thousands, some translators have sloppily assigned it the meaning of clans; however, this is a word for leadership, not for those under leadership. Finally, this is its rendering according to BDB, Gesenius and Scofield. Strong’s #441 BDB #49. Therefore, we are dealing in these few verses with the Edomite leaders, which are probably concurrent town leaders or leaders during the first hundred years or so of Edomite history.

The first sheik named is Timna, who was probably one of the sons of Eliphaz (1Chron. 1:39). Aliah is probably an alternate form of Alvah and it is suggested that he is the same as Alvan in Gen. 36:23 and Aiah in 1Chron. 1:40. It is actually written Alvah in two early printed editions. Jetheth is found only here and in Gen. 36:40.

chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, chief Magdiel, chief Iram—these [are] chiefs of Edom.



sheik Oholibamah, sheik Elah, sheik Pinon, sheik Kenaz, sheik Teman, sheik Mibzar, sheik Magdiel, sheik Iram—these [are] sheiks of Edom.

There was the wife of Esau who was in the line of Seir whose name was Oholibamah (Gen. 36:2, 5, 14, 18, 25). She was not named in this chapter. Whether this is the same person or not is unknown (women were generally not rulers—however, that does not mean never).

Elah, Mibzar, Magdiel and Iram are mentioned only here and in Gen. 36:41–43 as chiefs.

Pinon is found only here and in Gen. 36:41; he may be identified with Punon, which was an Edomite copper-mining center (in fact, the words may be identical).

Kenaz was discussed in full in v. 36 and Teman in vv. 35–36.

Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Go to Chronicles Index

Go to Exegesis Listings