1Chronicles 2

1Chronicles 2:1–55

The Sons of Jacob and Ancestry of David

Outline of Chapter 2: (see the Alternate Outline)

       vv.    1–8        The line of Israel through Judah and his sons

       vv.    9–17      The Hezron line: from Ram to through to David

       vv.   18–24      The line of Hezron, including part of Caleb’s ancestors and Segub

       vv.   25–41      The Hezron line: from Jerahmeel, in Egypt before slavery, to the dispersion

       vv.   42–50a    The line of Hezron: Caleb’s line is continued

       vv. 50b–55      The line of Hezron: Hur, son of Caleb, by Ephrathah

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

               Intro.       The Genealogy of 1Chronicles 2 (the line of Judah)

       vv.   2:1–2       The Various Ways to Group the Sons of Israel

       v.     2:9          Hezron’s Three Sons

       v.     2:29        What Should We Get Out of these Long Lists of Names?

       vv.   2:34–35   How Far Out in Time Do These Lines Go?

       vv.   2:42–43   Mesha, Mareshah and Ziph

       v.     2:54        Manahath (Gen. 36:23) VS. Manahathites (1Chron. 2:54)

Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To



The Kenites


I ntroduction: 1Chron. 2 follows the line of Jacob—specifically that of Judah, on through the family of David. For the person who simply reads this shopping list of names, their edification is pretty much limited to the incorrect pronunciation of several hundred names. However, chapter 2 of Chronicles leads us into the fascinating history of David and the men around him. We will spend a great deal of time covering the lives of Abishai and Joab, David’s nephews and right-hand men.

Now, the true focus of this family is on the line of Hezron, someone that you probably have not heard of. Judah had five sons; however, his first two sons died and he sheltered his third son from a woman, Tamar, whom he felt was responsible for the deaths of his first two. Through an series of events (see Gen. 38), Judah himself had twin sons by Tamar: Perez and Zerah. This chapter follows the line of Perez, primarily through his son, Hezron. From the line of Hezron, we will focus upon the line of David (vv. 9–17 and 1Chron. 3). There are two reasons for this: it appears at first, on the human side, that David was king when this chronicler wrote—we know all of his children, who are listed in the next chapter; and no great prominence is given to Solomon, meaning that Solomon had not yet come into power. However, in the chapter which follows, David’s line through Solomon is followed for 15 generations; therefore, at best, on the human side, the chronicler just happened to have good records on David’s line from a contemporary of David’s. On the divine side—which is the side which counts—God the Holy Spirit so guided the chronicler in this regard, as the family of Judah would lead to the family of David which would lead to the Messiah.

To place this in time, bear in mind that Judah sired Perez while still associated with his father in the land. However, soon thereafter, the land suffered a tremendous drought, which resulted in a great agricultural depression. Israel had to send his sons to Egypt for food, where they met their estranged brother Joseph. The family of Israel eventually moved to Egypt; this would have included Judah and his surviving sons. Perez fathered two sons (probably in the land prior to moving to Egypt), and it is the line of his son, Hezron, that we follow in this book. We will follow this line out pretty much all the way to the dispersion.

In this chapter, we have four mixed marriages mentioned—two which are alluded to and two which are named outright. Salma (or, Salmon) married Rahab, the Canaanite prostitute and Boaz married Ruth, the Moabitess, although neither are named in vv. 11–12. David’s sister, Abigail, married and Ishmaelite (v. 17). Finally, Sheshan, a descendant of Judah through Perez, Hezron and Jerahmeel, did not have any sons, so he had his daughter marry his Egyptian slave (vv. 34–35). His line is then followed linearly through to the time of David and probably beyond (David is not in his line).

One of the important aspects of this book, and these chapters, is that they allow us to place these people and their generations in a specific time frame, so that we can view the generations as they come along with the historical events which were a part of their lives. This is a normal way to view things. Many of you have a family tree which someone has put together, which certainly lists who is related whom, and the years of their births, deaths and marriages are given. Historical events are not given as a part of the picture. However, these people lived during a historical period of time—I will periodically try to integrate some of the events of history into the lives of these people, whose names we are given.

What you will note as we go through these chapters is that we will carefully examine the first couple of generations of men born just outside of Egypt and then those born in Egypt, and then there will be a gap. There will be no more a mention of Charles Brown marrying Lucy and having a firstborn child named Linus. Instead, we will have Charlie, son of Brown, sired Linus, who sired Pigpen. When we see that occur, it means that we are skipping several generations. We will not carefully follow any particular generation while Israel is under slavery to Egypt. During this period of time, we will skip through to those who left Egypt under freedom.

Let me add, there is a lot of misinformation out there as to who is related to whom and how with regards to Israel (apart from such famous people as Abraham). Sometimes this occurs when one takes a name out from these first few chapters of Chronicles and finds a matching name elsewhere and concludes, because the names are the same, that the people are the same. A careful exegesis of these chapters will help to keep these kind of mistakes under control. As we follow the generations and place them in history, we will be able to make matches between men named elsewhere, as well as distinguish those with the same name.

I should also add that, for the first time for me, there will be several verses in the same chapter which I cannot exegete to my own personal satisfaction. I have serious questions concerning 1Chron. 2:24,42–43, 50, 54–55 (these are simply the ones I recall off the top of my head). You would think that with a simple listing of names, it would be easy to determine who is related to whom and how. Wrong.

Although I have given this chapter what I believe to be a reasonable outline, there is an alternate way of outlining the chapter. The outline itself is hyper-linked to that Alternate Outline.

As before, since text is very difficult to follow with respect to genealogies, and still get the gist of what generation we are in and who is really related to who, and how, I will put the genealogy of Israel (or, Jacob) in an outline format. Such a format gives us a much better idea as to the breakdown and line of descent of Jacob’s sons. The format itself is much easier to follow. Furthermore, I have hyper-linked these together with the verses which follow so that it is easy to go to the appropriate verse. As we study 1Chron. 2, you might do well to periodically come back to this chart and examine it. I have also added names from other chapters which were relevant.

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The Genealogy of 1Chronicles 2

Israel (Jacob)

1.    Reuben, Simeon, Levi (sons of Israel by Leahv. 1)

2.    Judah (a son of Israel by Leahv. 1)

       a.    Er and Onan, (by Bath-shua, the Canaanitess) both of whom passed away before fathering any children (v. 3)

       b.    Shelah (who should have married Tamar, the widow of Er; or, at least, raised up one child by her—v. 3); he was also a son of Bath-shua

       c.     Perez (twin of Zerah by Tamarv. 4) (note: we will only follow the line of Perez in detail; the line of Zerah will only be followed for a couple of generations)

               i.      Hezron (v. 5)

                       (1)   Jerahmeel (v. 9)

                               (a)   Ram (v. 25)

                                      (i)    Maaz, Jamin and Eker (v. 27)

                               (b)   Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah (this may either read by Ahijah, referring to the wife of Jerahmeel, or it may possibly be rendered his brothers rather than Ahijahv. 25)

                               (c)   By his second wife, Atarah: Onam (v. 26)

                                      (i)    Shammai (v. 28)

                                              1)    Nadab (v. 28), who sired Seled (who died without sons) and Appaim (v. 30) ➔ Ishi ➔ Sheshan (who had no sons; only daughters—vv. 34–35)

                                                      a)    Ahlai (vv. 31, 34–35); one explanation is that Ahlai was the daughter of Sheshan, who, by Sheshan’s Egyptian slave Jarha, bore Attai (vv. 34–35) ➔ Nathan ➔ Zabad ➔ Ephlal ➔ Obed ➔ Jehu ➔ Azariah ➔ Helez ➔ Eleasah ➔ Sismai ➔ Shallum ➔ Jekamiah ➔ Elishama (vv. 36–41)

                                              2)    Abishur (v. 28)

                                                      a)    By wife, Abihail: Ahban and Molid (v. 29)

                                      (ii)   Jada (v. 28)

                                              1)    Jether (died without sons) and Jonathan (v. 32) (sons of Jonathan: Peleth and Zaza—v. 33)

                       (2)   Chelubai (v. 2:9) (or, Caleb ben Hezron—see 1Chron. 2:18); this is not the Caleb who stood with Joshua, who is found in 1Chron. 4. This is Caleb, son of Hezron, brother of Jerahmeel

                               (a)   Unnamed in v. 18, who is probably Mesha (as Mesha is called his firstborn) (v. 43) by Azubah. Mesha is the father (or, founder) of Ziph* (v. 42)

                               (b)   Mareshah* (many think Mesha = Mareshah) (v. 42), again, probably by Azubah, although Barnes suggests Jerioth. Some also think that Mesha was the father of Ziph, who was the father of Mareshah—this does some damage to the text. These options are more fully discussed in Mesha, Mareshah and Ziph.

                                      (i)    Hebron* (or, Abi-Hebron) (v. 42)

                                              1)    Korah, Tappuah*, Rekem* (v. 43)

                                              2)    Shema* (v. 43) ➔ Raham ➔ Jorkeam* ➔ Rekem* ➔Shammai* ➔ Maon* ➔ Bethzur* (vv. 44–45)

                               (c)   Jesher, Shobab and Ardon (by Jerioth; Barnes suggests that Jerioth was Caleb’s mistress and that these are the children of Azubah; my thinking is that Azubah did not bear any [more?] children, and had children by her maid, Jerioth—v. 18)

                               (d)   Hur (firstborn of Ephrath, wife of Caleb, whom he married after Azubah died—v. 19)

                                      (i)    Shobal (founder of Kiriath-jearim, father of Haroeh and half of Menuhoth) (v. 50, 52)

                                              1)    The families of Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites and the Mishraites (from which came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites) (v. 53)

                                      (ii)   Salma, the father of Bethlehem and Hareph (the father of Beth-gader) (v. 51, 54), the Netophathites, Atroth (of the house of Joab), the other half of the Manahathites, the Zorites (v. 54), and the families of scribes at Jabez (the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, the Sucathites, who are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab)—it is unclear whether this final group is to be found in the line of Caleb (v. 55)

                                      (iii)   UriBezalel (this is likely the Bezalel who worked on the tabernacle—see discussion under 1Chron. 2:20)

                               (e)   Ashhur (by Abijah) (it is unclear as to whether Ashhur is Hezron’s son, born after his death, to his wife Abijah, or whether Ashhur is Caleb’s son by his father’s wife—v. 24)

                                      (i)    Tekoa (probably a city rather than an ancestor or son—v. 24)

                                      (ii)   By wife Naarah: Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Haahashtari (1Chron. 4:5–6)

                                      (iii)   By wife Helah: Zereth, Izhar and Ethnan (1Chron. 4:5, 7)

                               (f)    By mistress Ephah: Haran (father of Gazez) and Moza (v. 46)

                               (g)   By mistress Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph (v. 47)

                               (h)   By mistress Maacah: Sheber, Tirhanah, Shaaph (father of Madmannah) and Sheva (father of Machbenah and Gibea), and Achsah (his daughter by Maacah) (vv. 48–49)

                       (3)   Ram (v. 9) ➔ Aminadab ➔ Nahshon (a prince of the sons of Judah) ➔ Salma (or, Salmon) ➔ Boaz ➔ Obed ➔ Jesse (vv. 10–12)

                               (a)   Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, (v. 2:13), Nethanel, Raddai, Ozem, David (vv. 14–15)

                               (b)   Zeruiah (David’s sister) (v. 16a)

                                      (i)    Abishai, Joab, Asahel (their father is never named). Abishai and Joab are two of the truly great leaders behind David (v. 16b)

                               (c)   Abigail (sister) who married Jether, the Ishmaelite (v. 16a, 17)

                                      (i)    Amasa, who fought against and for David, as well as with and against his cousins, Abishai and Joab (v. 17)

                       (4)   Segub (by a daughter of Machir when Hezron was 60—v. 21)

                               (a)   Jair, the one who had 23 cities in Gilead (v. 22)

                       (5)   Hamul (v. 5)

       d.    Zerah (twin of Perez) (v. 4)

               i.      Zimri, Heman, Calcol and Dara (v. 6)

                       (1)   Zabdi ➔ Carmi ➔ Achan (Achor), the troubler of Israel (Joshua 7:1 1Chron. 2:7)

               ii.     Ethan (v. 6)

                       (1)   Azariah (v. 8)

3.    Issachar and Zebulun (and Dinah, who is not mentioned in this chapter; only in Gen. 30:21) (sons and daughter by Leah, after Rachel’s maid bore sons to Jacobv. 1)

4.    Dan and Naphtali (sons by Rachel’s maid Bilhahv. 2)

5.    Gad and Asher (sons by Leah’s maid Zilpahv. 2)

6.    Joseph, Benjamin (sons by Rachelv. 2)

* Possibly eponyms (i.e., people after whom cities or peoples were named)

Legend:         Bullwinkle ➔ Rocky [means Rocky was a descendent of Bullwinkle’s]

Boris and Badenov [blue and underlined places them in the generation of Israelites who moved to Egypt (Gen. 46:8–27) and blue means that they were born early on in Egypt in freedom]

Natasha [magenta means that Natasha was likely a member of gen X]

Peabody [red means that they were of the generation of promise who entered into the Land and took it]

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The Line of Israel Through Judah and His Sons

Gen. 29:31–30:24 35:16–18 46:8–26 Num. 26:19–22

There are Quite a number of lists of the sons of Israel—however, only four of them are genealogies. (1) When the children are first born is when we first find them listed from a genealogical standpoint (Gen. 29:31–30–24 35:16–20). (2) After they have all been born, their births are summarized (Gen. 35:22b–26). (3) When the brothers and their families are listed, so that we know exactly who moved into Egypt, we have another expanded chronology (Gen. 46:8–27). Finally, (4) in the mother of all chronologies, the first nine chapters of the Chronicles we find these brothers, along with their ancestors and their descendants.

We also find the children of Israel listed in accordance with their population and military lists: by generals (Num. 1:5–15); by the number of those who could go to war against the Canaanites (Num. 1:16–49); by their camping arrangement (Num. 2:2–34); their second numbering after the 38 year stint in the desert (Num. 26:5–62); by their military strength under David (1Chron. 12:23–40); and by their chief commanders (1Chron. 27:1–22).

Finally, they are listed as Jacob blesses them (Gen. 50); by those who entered Egypt (Ex. 1:1–5) (their families are not enumerated by name); in the order of their offerings (Num. 7:11–83); by those who gave the blessing and the cursing from Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal (Deut. 27:12–13); as Moses blessed them (Deut. 33:6–25); by their millennial portions (Ezek. 48:1–35); and, finally, by the list of the tribes which participate in the great evangelical movement in the last days (Rev. 7:4–8). Interestingly enough, in that last list, Dan is missing, and we have the tribe of Joseph listed rather than the tribe of Manasseh. Footnote

Slavishly literal:


Moderately literal:

These sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar and Zebulun; Dan, Joseph and Benjamin; Naphtali, Gad and Asher.



The following are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.

At first glance, it appears as though the conjunctions are simply spread willy nilly throughout these two verses, as the chronicler whimsically determines. However, they are found where they are for a reason, although I may not be able to determine the exact reason myself. Israel, named Jacob at birth, was sent away from home to his Uncle Laban’s ranch. Jacob was quite the schemer, and he had duped Esau, his twin brother, once or twice, Footnote and, to keep Esau from killing him, his mother sent him away. Now, it was only right for her to send him to Uncle Laban, because Laban always did that which benefitted Laban. Laban put Jacob to work. He had two daughters, and Jacob fell in love with the youngest. Although Laban never made this crystal clear to anyone, he could not simply marry off the younger daughter while the older one was unmarried. Footnote So, the deal was, Jacob would work for Laban for seven years, and Laban would give Jacob the hand of his daughter in marriage. So Jacob served [Laban] seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her (Gen. 29:20). Just as Jacob deceived his own father, pulling a switcheroo on his father to receive the blessing due Esau (Gen. 27), Laban pulled a switcheroo on Jacob. On his wedding night, Laban delivered a bride to Jacob. Now, although it is never stated, on the day of the feasting and the wedding, Jacob probably never saw his bride-to-be. Footnote Whether she was there in a veil or whether she was not at the feast, we do not know. Whether there was any sort of a ceremony as we have—well, there probably wasn’t. At some point in time, probably after dark, Laban sent the bride to Jacob and he slept with her. In the morning, Jacob found out that he had slept with Leah, Rachel’s older sister. Jacob, a master of deception, had been deceived himself, by his uncle, the ultimate master of deception. Laban explains to Jacob, “I can’t marry my younger daughter before my firstborn—that goes against our local customs! However, I will cut you a deal—you work for me another seven years, and you get Rachel as well.” (Gen. 29:21–27). Laban does what is right by Laban. He gets fourteen years of hard work out of Jacob and he marries off his daughters.

You will notice that Jacob is called Israel here. God named Jacob, Israel. Periodically, God would rename a believer. Now don’t get weird like the Children of God and give yourself some new name. God did this; not man. God renamed Abram, Abraham; God renamed Jacob, Israel; and God renamed Saul, Paul. These were extraordinary men; they didn’t become Christians and decide to name themselves Baruch, because it sounded really spiritual. In using the divine name for Jacob, his shortcomings, which were legend, are ignored. He was a conniving, scheming manipulator, who strove to get his way. But, not to worry. God gave Jacob over to Laban, who was just as much of a conniving, scheming manipulator. However, from this came the twelve tribes of Israel, which is grace—and, by the way, a great deal of the book of Genesis (Jacob was undoubtedly one of the authors of Genesis). Footnote

The first four sons of Israel were born to Leah, not his first choice for a wife. They were Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah. Time passes and Leah has two more sons: Issachar and Zebulun (these are the first six mentioned). Rachel’s maid bears a son on her behalf—Dan, and Rachel eventually has two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. These three tribes (actually, four, as Joseph received the double portion), are all grouped together in central Israel. Naphtali was Rachel’s second son by her maid; and, since Rachel had Jacob bear sons by her maid, Leah had Jacob bear sons by her personal maid as well, and these sons are Gad and Asher.

The Various Ways to Group the Sons of Israel

By Order of Birth:

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah, Joseph and Benjamin.

In the Order of Blessing by Jacob

The Long Blessings

The Short Blessings

Long Blessing

Short Blessing

Reuben, Simeon Levi and Judah

Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher and Naphtali



By Mother:


Bilhah (Rachel’s Maid)

Zilpah (Leah’s Maid)


Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dinah.

Dan and Naphtali.

Gad and Asher

Joseph and Benjamin.

By Military Camps





Judah, Issachar and Zebulun

Reuben, Simeon and Gad

Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin

Dan, Asher and Naphtali

For the Blessing and the Cursing

Those who Stood on Mount Gerizim to Bless the People

Those who Stood on Mount Ebal to Curse the People

Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin

Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali

By Territory


Central West



Judah and Simeon

Dan, Benjamin and Joseph (split into the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh)

Asher, Naphtali, Zebulun and Issachar (Dan relocates to the far north in the book of Judges).

Reuben, Gad and a half tribe of Manasseh.

As Grouped by the Chronicler

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah

Issachar and Zebulun

Dan, Joseph and Benjamin

Naphtali, Gad and Asher

As Barnes points out, if Dan had been moved from where he was to three places down, then the sons of Jacob would have been listed in the order of their birth mother. For some reason, Jacob, when he blessed his twelve sons, did roughly the same thing. He blessed them by birth mother, with the exception of Dan, who was moved out of place. Move him down three places, and Jacob too has grouped his children by their birth mother.

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Sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah—three he sired by Bath-shua the Canaanitess. And so was Er firstborn of Judah—evil in [the] eyes of Yehowah and so He killed him.



The sons of Judah were Er, Onan and Shelah. These three were born to him by a daughter of Shua, his wife of Canaanite origin. Er was his firstborn and Er was evil in the sight of Jehovah; therefore, He executed him.

Judah took a woman who was a Canaanitess, whose father’s name was Shua. The Bible says nothing about marriage between these two. Bath-shua (which means daughter of Shua) bore Judah three children: Er, Onan and Shelah. Judah gave to Er, his firstborn, Tamar to wife, but God killed Er before Tamar bore him any children (this was obviously an arranged marriage—Gen. 38:6). As the Law and as ancient customs went, when a man died before fathering any children, his brother was to raise up one child by his widow, and that child would be raised as the late husband’s child. Onan did not mind having sex with Tamar; however, during the act, he withdrew himself prior to ejaculation, so that he would not impregnate Tamar. God then executed Onan. As Judah’s youngest son by Bath-shua, Judah promised him to Tamar, so that Tamar did not remarry. However, thinking that Tamar rather than his sons were the reason they died, Judah reneged on his promise to Tamar and never gave Shelah to her, not even to conceive a child. Shelah is the progenitor of the Shelanites (Num. 26:20).

And Tamar, his daughter-in-law, bore to him Perez and Zerah. All of [the] sons of Judah, five.



But Tamar, Judah’s daughter-in-law, did bear Judah two sons, Perez and Zerah, making five sons in all for Judah.

In one of the unusual stories of Scripture, Judah misled his daughter-in-law into thinking that he was going to give her Shelah in marriage, or at least raise up a child by him to her. He never fulfilled this promise. He sent Tamar to her father’s home and figured he was done with this situation. Judah’s wife died, and he ran into Tamar again up in Timnah. Actually, Judah thought that she was a prostitute (she was veiled and he had not seen her for a long time). They negotiated a price and Judah left some personal items with her until he was able to send Tamar her fee, which was a kid from the goats. When Tamar turns up pregnant, then Judah determines that she needs to be executed for not remaining faithful to his son Shelah. Then Tamar reveals the personal items her lover had given to her as a pledge, and they are Judah’s. Judah apparently raised the children with Tamar, although they did not have relations as man and wife again (Gen. 38:26). Tamar bore twins, Perez and Zerah. It was an unusual birthing—Zerah’s hand appeared first from the womb, but Perez was actually born first. Zerah is the father of the Zerahites (Num. 26:20), also called the sons of Zerah (1Chron. 9:6 Neh. 11:24).

Sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul.



The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.

Judah had five sons, two of whom died early in their lives and left no descendants. The third son, Shelah, will have his line explored in 1Chron. 4:21. However, we will follow the line of Judah through Perez in this chapter, as it is the promised line, so to speak. Only his line will be followed in the New Testament genealogies (Matt. 1 Luke 3).

Perez means a bursting forth, a breach. Although Zerah’s hand emerged first from the womb, Perez burst forth from the womb first. You may question Tamar’s methods with Judah, but bear in mind that she had to bear twins and apparently their birth was no picnic either. Perez is the dominant line from Judah (Gen. 46:12 Num. 26:20 1Chron. 2:4) and the primary families of Judah trace their lineage back to Perez (1Chron. 27:3 Neh. 11:4, 6). He is, of course, father to the Perizzites, also known as the Pharzites (Num. 26:20). Perez is primarily known for being in the line of David, and therefore, in the line of Jesus (Ruth 4:18–22 Matt. 1:3 Luke 3:33). Footnote

Hezron and his descendants are mentioned in a number of places throughout Scripture (Gen. 46:12 Num. 26:6, 21 Ruth 4:18–19 1Chron. 2:5, 9, 18, 21, 24–25 Matt. 1:3 Luke 3:33), and yet we know nothing personal about him. However, the bulk of this chapter is based upon his descendants (pretty much from vv. 9–55). In fact, if you will notice, a precede each section with The Line of Hezron. It is through Hezron that the line of promise proceeds.

Hamul is found only here, Gen. 46:12 and in Num. 26:21, where his ancestors are mentioned.

And sons of Zerah: Zimri and Ethan and Heman and Calcol and Dara—their all, five.



The sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol and Dara—five in all.

It is with this verse that the writer of chronicles will often draw upon sources which are unknown to us. In the previous chapter plus the first few verses of this chapter, the information appears to have been collected from other places in Scripture.

Rather than Dara, some manuscripts have Darda (the Syriac and Egyptian targums; in the Greek, is Darad). The chief reason for doing so appears to be because there is a similar group of men in 1Kings 4:31. We will cover the pros and cons for that in a moment. Heman is the grandson of Judah, and the son of Zerah. It is incorrectly proposed that he is the author of Psalm 88, who is called Heman the Ezrahite (it is supposed that should be Zerahite). Similarly, his brother, Ethan, is incorrectly touted as the author of Psalm 89. However, this is way incorrect. There is a Heman and an Ethan from the time of Solomon, known for their wisdom (see 1Kings 4:31) and who sang in the band (1Chron. 15:19). It just so happens that there is another family who lived several hundred years later who have four sons with the same names as (or, very similar names to) four of Zerah’s sons (they may have even intentionally been so named). However, they are sons of Mahol (1Kings 4:31), not of Zerah (1Chron. 2:6) and they are Ezrahites and not Zerahites. Keil and Delitzsch also give us some additional reasons why these sets of men are not the same: That Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol and Dara are all brothers is clear in this verse. However, just because the four which are mentioned later are all called wise men, that does not mean that they had to even be contemporaries, much less brothers. In 1Kings 4:31, Ethan is called an Ezrahite, while Heman, Calcol and Darda are called sons of Machol. Footnote Sure, it would be neat to match up each name in these lines with some person somewhere in Scripture, but that just is not going to happen. There are often times when a couple generations are skipped (we will find that those born in slavery to Egypt are generally not mentioned unless they are of the two generations which left Egypt with Moses in the exodus). However, it is quite unlikely to skip dozens of generations, go down the line into the reign of Solomon (these other genealogies do not go this far), and pick a family that came from the loins of Zerah, as long as you didn’t mind going back several centuries.

Zimri is found only here. He is not to be identified necessarily with the line of Zerah mentioned in Joshua 7:1, 17–18, as some have proposed. Calcol is also found only here and is not to be identified with the Calcol in 1Kings 4:31. Dara may be Darda here, as per the Syriac codex. Again, he is not necessarily equivalent to the Darda found in 1Kings 4:31. There is the possibility that these men are much, much later ancestors of Zerah—Zerah being their ancient ancestor and Mahol being a more recent one—however, even though the author of Chronicles would possibly know the line of Zerah and where it would lead to several hundred years later, that would still not be in keeping with the context of the other names given. It is just as reasonable that Mahol read or heard read, this portion of Scripture (or, his wife did); they liked the names and gave them to their own children. Let me add another reason why this list of names is not equivalent. This writer of chronicles follows out the line of David and even records a listing of David’s sons. However, no prominence is given to Solomon, which we would expect if this is written during the reign of David. However, the passage in 1Kings 4 is written after Solomon comes to power. Therefore, it would be incongruous for the collector of these genealogies to follow out this line that we’re in all the way to the wise men to whom Solomon is compared, and yet not follow out David’s line, mentioning that Solomon is pre-eminent among his brothers. Footnote

And sons of Carmi: Achar, a troubler of Israel who transgressed in the devotion.



The sons of Carmi included Achar, who was a troubler [Achor] of Israel and who transgressed with regard to what was devoted [to God].


Here, we have a sudden gap. Carmi has not been mentioned in this chapter at all, and suddenly, we are looking at Carmi and his son Achar. It is because of this gap that some have said that Zimri is equivalent to Zabdi or with Zerah, both of whom are ancestors of Carmi (Joshua 7:1). Both the REB and the NEB suggest that this verse should begin the son of Zimri: Carmi... However, this is not supported by any of the manuscripts. By the context, we can determine that Carmi and Achar are descendants of Judah, which is confirmed for us in 1Chron. 4:1 as well as in Joshua 7:1. As for the Zimri of the previous verse and Zabdi of Joshua 7:1; with a bad manuscript, the two could be mistaken for one another. We can guess that no direct ascendancy is established here because of the evil of Achar, known as Achan in Joshua 7. When Israel conquered Jericho, the first city of the Land of Promise, God had them devote the entire city to Him—this meant that all of it had to be completely and totally destroyed. Achan didn’t quite see it that way. Achan, when he attacked Jericho, found a couple of items that he really liked and he put those aside. In their next attack on Ai, a much smaller city than Jericho, Israel was defeated and they suffered casualties. The problem was that Achan had kept out things from Jericho which should have been devoted to God. Achan was executed by stoning—he and his family and their possessions—and then they were burned. Where this occurred was since known as the Valley of Achor. This is a play on words, actually. In the Hebrew, Achar was originally ׳âkân (ן ָכע) [pronounced aw-KAWN or gaw-KAHN]. Strong’s #5912 BDB #747. He had come to be known as ׳âkâr (ר ָכ ָע), which is how it is spelled here. Strong’s #5912 & 5917 BDB #747. Achor is actually ׳âkôwr (רכ ָע) [pronounced aw-CORE], which means trouble, disturbance. Strong’s #5911 BDB #747. Because he troubled or disturbed Israel, the valley where he was burned was known as the Valley of Trouble, named after Achan. After a few hundred years, even his original name was changed to Trouble in the memories of the people.

On a minor note, you will see that this literally reads and sons of Carmi, but there is only one son which follows. This appears to be a convention throughout this book—whether one son or several, we still use the phrase the sons of (see vv. 8, 31, 42).

And sons Footnote of Ethan: Azariah.



And the son of Ethan: Azariah.

Ethan was a descendant of Zerah, Perez’s twin and Judah’s son. Ethan’s son, Azariah, is found only here, although, surprisingly enough, Azariah is the name of about two dozen people in the Old Testament.

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The Hezron Line: from Ram to Through to David

Ruth 4:19–22 1Sam. 16:10–13

And sons of Hezron who were born to him: Jerahmeel and Ram and Chelubai.



And the sons of Hezron who were born to him: Jerahmeel, Ram and Chelubai (Caleb).

It is this verse which gives us an introduction to the next several sections. We will follow out in this chapter and the next the line of Hezron through his three sons, Ram, Caleb and Jerahmeel. Although Ram is not the oldest, his line will be followed first, as it is the preeminent of the three lines, taking us to King David. From vv. 10–17, we will follow Ram’s genealogy to David (and his brothers and sisters). In vv. 18–24, we will follow Caleb’s line, after which we will pick up with Jerahmeel’s line (vv. 25–41), which is broken down into two sections between vv. 33 and 34. After this, we pick up with Caleb’s line again (vv. 42–55) and then back to Ram’s (1Chron. 3). It looks like this:

Hezron Had Three Sons: Jerahmeel, Ram and Caleb

From Ram to David

1Chron. 2:10–17

From Caleb to Ashhur

1Chron. 2:18–24

From Jerahmeel to Zaza

1Chron. 2:25–33

Additional information on the line of Jerahmeel

1Chron. 2:34–41

Additional information on the line of Caleb

1Chron. 2:42–55

Additional information on the line of Ram

1Chron. 3:1–24

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With this verse, we begin to study the line of Ram, and follow it all the way through to David, which is the furthest that we follow any of these lines. We will return to this line in 1Chron. 3 when we examine the descendants of David. The prominence given to David in this chapter and primarily in the next indicate that he was the very popular king over all of Israel when this genealogy was put together.

Hezron was another line of Judah, through Perez. According to ZPEB, Chelubai is an alternate form of Caleb (see 1Chron. 2:42). When I first began to exegete this passage, I treated this Caleb as though he were the same Caleb as we find throughout the Law and the book of Joshua. Then I realized that there were about 400 years between this Caleb and the one that we are most familiar with. However, the Caleb in 1Chron. 4 is the Caleb of the book of Numbers.

Judah and his brothers moved to Egypt along with their families. For Judah, this would have been his twin sons, Perez and Zerah, and their much older half-brother, Shelah. Also, Perez had two sons who were a part of Judah’s extended family. These were his sons, Hezron and Hamul, who were born in the land, but moved with Perez into Egypt. This chapter primarily focuses on the line of Hezron, who was born in the land and moved to Egypt. He had a number of sons—Jerahmeel, Ram and Caleb—he was considered Egyptian royalty. It is difficult to determine when the sons of Israel became slaves to Egypt. However, my guess is that the sons of these three men were born under freedom while in Egypt, yet became slaves. Jerahmeel will be named several times in this chapter (vv. 9, 25–27, 33, 42) and his descendants in general in 1Sam. 27:10 30:29.

In this chapter, there are apparently two Ram’s. The Ram here is the brother of Jerahmeel, who will later name one of his sons Ram as well (1Chron. 2:25). Now, the fact that Ram is called a son of Hezron here and a son of Jerahmeel later does not imply that there are two different Ram’s. What tells us that is that the sons of Ram, in these two instances, are completely different. The Ram in this verse is the more famous of the two Ram’s. He is in the line of Christ. My version of the NKJV suggests that his name could be Aram as well. In fact, his line is now followed all the way to David, stopping for a moment at David’s father, Jesse:

And Ram fathered Aminadab and Aminadab fathered Nashon, a prince of [the] sons of Judah; and Nashon fathered Salma and Salma fathered Boaz; and Boaz fathered Obed and Obed fathered Jesse.



And Ram sired Aminadab and Aminadab sired Nashon (who was a great leader over the tribe of Judah); Nashon was the father of Salmon, Salmon was the father of Boaz, Boaz was the father of Obed, and Obed sired Jesse.

We recently followed this genealogy in the last chapter of the book of Ruth. We know little about Ram, other than who he is related to. Between him and Aminadab was another man—Admin, who is found only in Luke 3:3. If you will recall, I guessed that Hezron or Ram may have been the first generation of Jewish slaves in Egypt. Admin, Aminadab and Nashon may have all left Egypt together in the exodus; father, grandfather and son. The two elder men would die in the desert (Admin’s name being left out of the other genealogies). Nashon was a part of the generation of promise, those who conquered the Land of Promise—in fact, Nashon was one of the princes who had authority over the tribe of Judah, making him the third most important man in Israel at that time (below Joshua and Caleb). It was likely his much older sister who married Aaron, bearing Aaron four sons (Ex. 6:23). Salmon was the Israelite who married Rahab. To understand the time frame here, for Nashon to still be alive after the Israelite traipse through the desert, he had to be under 20 at the beginning, so, when he led his army into the Land of Promise, he would have been in his late 30’s (our other possibility is that, when God killed all the men of Israel who were 20 or older, 20 may have been an approximate age, and that there were some men in their 20’s who went into the land. In any case, if Nashon had a son while in the desert, that son would have been at most 20 when Israel went into the land. Rahab was a successful prostitute at that time with her own house as a part of the main wall of Jericho. I am thinking that she would have been 30 or more. So Salma, or Salmon, almost any way you slice it, married a woman of Jericho, a former prostitute, who was considerably older than him.

I suspect that between Salmon and Boaz we have a generation gap of two or so who are never mentioned in Scripture. However, that is difficult to determine; and, personally, I liked the idea of the events of Ruth occurring early on during the period of the judges (most exegetes place it in the middle or near the end of that time period). Boaz was an older man who married Ruth, meaning that, if he was the son of Salmon, then we would have the passing of, say, 60–100 years from when Israel conquered the land to the events of the book of Ruth. This would place us around 1300 b.c., which would be during the Moabite oppression (which would allow for traveling between Israel and Moab). Boaz eventually married Ruth, a Moabitess whose Israelite husband had died in Moab. The whole story is covered in the book of Ruth. They had a son and his name was Obed. From Obed to Jesse, there was probably a gap of one or two unnamed generations.

And Jesse was the father of his firstborn, Eliab; and Abinadab, the second; and Shimea, the third;



Then Jesse was the father of Eliab, his firstborn, Abinadab, the second; Shimea, the third;


Jesse’s first son is called his bekôwr (רכ) [pronounced beKOHR], which means firstborn. Strong’s #1060 BDB #114. There are at least six different Eliab’s in Scripture. God sent Samuel to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons as the king to succeed King Saul. When Samuel first saw Eliab, he immediately determined that this was the man which God had chosen. The same thing happened with Jesse’s next two sons, Abinadab and Shimea (called Shammah in 1Sam. 16:9). These three older sons also followed Saul into battle against the Philistines when Goliath threatened to fight anyone in Israel’s army. Apparently, David hauled supplies from home to his three older brothers, and then would return to tend his father’s flock in Bethlehem. When David asked what would be done for the man who defeated Goliath, it was Eliab who chewed him out royally (1Sam. 17). Eliab eventually had a daughter, Abihail, who married Rehoboam, the son of Solomon. Ammon, one of David’s sons, was close friends with his cousin, Jonadab, who was the son of Shimeah (2Sam. 13:1–3).

A question may arise about the spelling of these names—in particular, Shimea’s. Let’s keep the explanation simple. There can be regional differences in the way that a name is pronounced. In some of the spellings, we find the letter ע, which is ׳ayin [pronounced ĢAH-yin]. Some pronounce it and others do not. A doubling of the m is done rather than pronounce the guttural ׳ayin. The pronunciation of the name could therefore determine the way the name is spelled. It is also possible that one is formal and the other is not, like Pete, Peter and Petey (in fact, we often refer to one of my brothers as Pedro). Then, for some names, it could be a matter of a copyist’s error (although that is probably not the case here).

Nethanel, the fourth; Raddai, the fifth; Ozem, the sixth; David, the seventh;



Nethanel, the fourth; Raddai, the fifth; Ozem, the sixth; David, the seventh,

Nethanel, Raddai and Ozem are only mentioned in this passage; they are not even mentioned by name in the procession of the sons of Jesse who passed before Samuel in 1Sam. 16:8–10. David, on the other hand, is one of the two or three most famous Israelites (there is certainly David and Moses; as well as, of course, Elijah, Solomon, Joshua, Caleb, Isaiah and Jeremiah). He was the shepherd boy who killed Goliath, the huge Philistine who threatened all of Israel. He was the second king of Israel—the only truly great king of Israel—and his ups and downs, victories and defeats are legend in Scripture. David is the author of many of the psalms in Scripture, being a musician, having taken up the flute and probably other musical instruments while tending the sheep of his father.

When Samuel went to Jesse to crown the new king of Israel from among his sons, Jesse made seven sons walk before him before presenting David (1Sam. 16:10 17:12). One reasonable explanation is that one brother of David died prior to having children. Another possibility is that Jesse even brought out the son by a mistress prior to suggesting the Samuel meet David. A third possibility is that there was a seventh son prior to David whose name was lost in the Massoretic text. The Syriac targum adds Elihu as the seventh son, and David is the eighth, which would bring these two passages into harmony. This would also bring into harmony 1Chron. 27:18, where David is said to have a brother, Elihu (the Septuagint, at this point, calls him Eliab instead). Footnote Bear in mind, however, that a neat fix like this is not necessarily the solution. Simply because we have the name of a seventh son with David as son #8, does not mean that is how the original manuscripts read—it is just as likely these few words could have been added in order to keep the texts harmonious.

and their sisters, Zeruiah and Abigail.



and their sisters, Zeruiah and Abigail.

Jesse had eight sons and these two daughters. We will find out that Zeruiah and her sons will eclipse the status of her brothers. With Zeruiah, we have a very unusual woman. She is mentioned 26 times in Scripture (mostly as the mother of Abishai, Joab and Asahel—e.g., 2Sam. 2:13, 18 3:36), yet her husband is never named. In 1Chron. 2:16b, we find that she had the children Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, and it appears as though she stopped at three. Several theories have been proposed: her husband died early, he was a deadbeat dad who deserted his family early on, his fame was far less than her fame—my personal guess, as Scripture acts as if he does not exist, is that he left his family early on, either walked out (which would have been quite rare—pretty much unknown in Scripture) or died early in the marriage.

With Abigail, we do have a minor problem. She is identified as the sister of David and the rest, but she is called the daughter of Nahash in 2Sam. 17:25. ZPEB suggests that she was daughter of Jesse’s wife and her first husband, and that she is a half-sister to David (Nahash is found only here in this passage). A better explanation is that this is really Nahshon, who is one of her ancestors (and, obviously, an ancestor of her father, Jesse), a great leader of the army of Judah who brought them into the land. In any case, she is either the full or the half-sister of David and the full or half-sister of Zeruiah.

Possibly for the same reasons, Zodhiates identifies Zeruiah as David’s half-sister, although he only cites this verse as backup. Footnote He cites Nahash as Jesse’s wife’s first husband (2Sam. 17:25).

And sons of Zeruiah: Abishai and Joab and Asahel—three.



The Zeruiah bore three sons: Abishai, Joab and Asahel.

Although their names are given in this order in 1Chronicles, ZPEB supposes that Joab is the older of the three sons, being roughly the age of David. David would be the youngest son of Jesse and Joab the oldest son of Zeruiah. However, Chronicles takes this from the divine standpoint, which names first the pre-eminent one. Barnes similarly argues that Abishai is the eldest, noting that he joined David’s army prior to Joab (1Sam. 26:6).

In the Hebrew, Abishai is actually Abshai in this verse, yet it is Abisa in the Greek. These three nephews of David, sons of his sister Zeruiah, are found several dozen times in Scripture. When Saul was in pursuit of David and camped not far from where David was, David took Abishai (who volunteered) surreptitiously, into the camp of Saul. When they found Saul sleeping with a spear stuck in the ground next to his head, Abishai encouraged David to allow him to take Saul out, saying, “Today, God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now, therefore, please let me kill him with the spear even into the ground with one stroke—I will not have to strike him a second time.” (1Sam. 26:8). When a relative of Saul’s cursed David (this was after the death of Saul), Abishai asked permission from David to kill the man. David refused (2Sam. 16:5–12). A similar situation occurred in 2Sam. 19. When David was old, he was threatened by a Philistine giant while at war with the Philistines. Abishai killed this giant, Ishbibenob.

Joab apparently joined David’s band of guerrillas while they were in the wilderness of Zin—however, he is not mentioned by name until 2Sam. 2, when he and his army square off against Abner and his army made up of those loyal to Saul. Abner first suggested a test of skill between the twelve greatest men of each army, to which Joab agreed. The result was that the men were so evenly matched, that all 24 men killed each other. At this time of the civil war, all three brothers were on David’s side (they would be his nephews) when a civil war broke out between Judah and Israel (this would be the northern tribes of Israel). During one severe battle, David’s men were in pursuit of their enemy, and Asahel took off after Abner, one of the leaders of the resistance (which was led by Saul’s family). Abner did not want to kill Asahel, but he did. Abner was the seasoned veteran and Asahel was pretty much wet behind the ears, and impetuous, thinking that having Abner on the run insured his personal victory over Abner. His brothers continued the pursuit, but Abner finally dissuaded them (2Sam. 2). Although Abner eventually helped David to gain the throne over Israel, Abishai and Joab eventually killed Abner in revenge. David declared himself guiltless of this act (2Sam. 2–3).

To give you a little background on the changing alliances, Abner was Saul’s loyal four star general. Although Saul and most of his sons died in battle, the strength of Abner’s army allowed Ishbosheth, one of Saul’s sons, to retain power over northern Israel as their king. Maintaining this power was difficult, in the light of David’s growing popularity, which had gone from grass roots to almost nation-wide. David’s army, likewise, increased in power. Ishbosheth meanwhile, looking for a scapegoat, accused Abner of having relations with one of Saul’s former mistresses. Abner, tired of Ishbosheth’s crap, began negotiating with David to unite all of Israel under him. David agreed to this, and, after the final negotiations had been carefully ironed out, Joab found out about it and blew his top. He was still angry about Abner killing his brother. After Abner had left David, Joab sent messengers to call him back, and asked to meet with Abner privately. At that meeting, Joab killed Abner (2Sam. 2–3). Because of this, David pronounced a curse on the house of Joab.

Joab eventually became the commander over David’s army as David began to consolidate his power and defeat his enemies from without (2Sam. 9:8:16). He was the first to kill a Jebusite (a Canaanite living in Jerusalem), and, for that reason, David awarded him the position of field marshal general (1Chron. 11:6). In fact, it was due to Joab’s ingenuity that David was able to conquer Jerusalem and make it his capital city. Joab brought a temporary, uneasy peace between David and his son Absalom in 2Sam. 14 (Absalom had murdered Amnon, his brother and David’s son, as revenge for raping their sister, Tamar in 2Sam. 13). Absalom was the head of the Israelite army, the Israelites being ruled by Amasa at Gilead. After Absalom’s rebellion, David’s power needed to be consolidated. Joab killed Amasa, their cousin (see v. 17) and Joab and Abishai together defeated the army of Bichri, a Benjamite who had instigated a rebellion against David, and killed Bichri.

Both Abishai and Joab remained as leaders over great portions of David’s armies, the final third led by Ittai, the Hittite (2Sam. 18:2 1Chron. 18:12, 15). Abishai led his army against Ammon while Joab led his again Syria (2Sam. 10). Abishai also led an army against Edom, and was victorious, killing 18,000 Edomites. He constructed garrisons in Edom (1Chron. 18). In fact, as field marshal general, Joab held several major victories over foreign powers and domestic rebel forces. There are victories of David’s battles wherein Joab is not mentioned, but probably took part (against the Philistines, Moabites, the king of Zobah and the Syrians—2Sam. 5 8 1Chron. 18). There is no record of Joab ever losing a battle.

In David’s great sin in sleeping with Bathsheba, a married woman, David went to Joab to place her husband in the hottest part of the battle, thus insuring his death. There is no indication as to Joab’s personal feelings in this matter, although it appears to be clear that he knew in advance that Uriah would die in battle.

Joab had a special bond with David and was instrumental in bringing David and his estranged son Absalom into an uneasy peace. Both David and Absalom felt comfortable going to Joab as a go-between, although Joab did not fully trust Absalom. In fact, Absalom, after moving back to Jerusalem following some diplomatic work by Joab between he and his father, contacted Joab twice, but Joab did not come to him. He finally burned down Joab’s field, and Joab went and spoke to him, and effected a better reconciliation between David and Absalom (2Sam. 14). However, Absalom finally rebelled against David, taking much of his army with him. Absalom, placed Amasa, David’s nephew and Joab’s cousin, as head over his own army. The conflict that ensued pitted Joab, Abishai and Ittai against Amasa. David told his generals, in the hearing of their armies, not to harm Absalom. Joab was too much of a realist in this regard. The entire rebellion was shouldered by Absalom; without Absalom as their strong leader, the rebellion would be effectively shut down. When given the opportunity, Joab killed Absalom, penetrating his body with three darts as Absalom hung by a tree by his hair. This ended Absalom’s rebellion. When his death was reported to David, along with the quenching of the rebellion, David did not pay tribute to his loyal army, for which Joab stood face to face with David, and corrected him. David listened to Joab (2Sam. 17–19).

To insure peace, David then placed Amasa, leader of the rebel army, over his army, rather than Joab (Absalom had chosen to do just the opposite). His intentions were to gain the loyalty of Amasa and any who might be still loyal to Amasa and to David’s deceased son, Absalom. The demotion was also David’s punishment to Joab for killing his son in battle, although this brought a quick and clean end to Absalom’s rebellion.

Sheba of Ephraim organized a revolt against David, and David sent his newly crowned chief of staff, Amasa, to deal with the problem. Amasa did not go out as quickly as he should have, so David sent Abishai and his army, which now included Joab. Amasa, when it appeared that Abishai would be successful, decided that he better get in on this, and met them at Gibeon, where Joab met him, and, feigning friendship, killed Amasa. Joab then assumed his former command and successfully pursued and defeated Sheba (2Sam. 20).

David often chose Joab for the dirty jobs (e.g., seeing that Uriah the Hittite would be killed in battle), and he chose Joab to take a census. What David was concerned about were the promises that God made to Abraham about the population of Israel being as the sand of the sea and the stars in the sky.

There are several lists of David’s mighty men, and some authors are confused about this. At any given time, an army being the fluid organization that it is, different men would have different statuses. Therefore, it is not necessary for 16 mighty men in one passage to be in conflict with David having 3 mighty men in another. Therefore, if Abishai was considered chief among three (which would have been Abishai, Joab and Ittai), we should not be concerned when there are three other men named as David’s mighty men in another passage (2Sam. 23:8–11, 18–19). Footnote Abishai’s death is not recorded in Scripture, although ZPEB supposes that he died prior to the conflict between Adonijah and Solomon, as he is not mentioned in that conflict. It is just as likely that he quietly retired.

Abishai was a special confidant to David (1Kings 1:7). On the other hand, Joab’s loyalty strayed from David, and David asked his son, Solomon, to deal with that (1Kings 2:5). It is possible that Joab’s first serious error was when he began to count the children of Israel, as ordered by David, to determine if God had fulfilled His promise to Abraham (Gen. 15:5 1Chron. 27:23–24). Joab’s final mistake was to back David’s son, Adonijah, for king of Israel, when David became seriously ill near the end of his life. Both Joab and Abiathar, the High Priest, placed their support behind Adonijah, a son of David. Being a son of David, and having the backing of the Army as well as seemingly the support of God, it would appear the Adonijah would have been a shoe-in. However, David named Solomon as his successor instead. While Adonijah was being coronated, news was brought to them that Solomon was the king, which was confirmed by the people. Probably to avoid a civil war, Solomon decreed their deaths. Joab even went to a city of refuge, but he was executed anyway. Joab had few parallels in the art and strategy of war, as a great military leader, one who was able to even make peace when opposing parties were still alive. Despite that greatness, we never find an incident where Joab’s relationship with Jehovah God of Israel is ever made clear. As ZPEB put it, he died as he lived—by the sword. Footnote

And Abigail bore Amasa and a father of Amasa, Jether the Ishmaelite.



And Abigail gave birth to Amasa, who was fathered by Jether the Ishmaelite.

Absalom placed Amasa, the cousin of Joab and Abishai, the nephew of David, over his Israelite army—and he is said to be placed there over Joab (2Sam. 17:25). As we saw under the previous verse, once Absalom had been defeated, David placed Amasa over his own army to help consolidate the opposing forces, instead of Joab (2Sam. 19:13). Part of David’s motivation may have been to punish Joab for killing his son, Absalom. As was also mentioned earlier, when Sheba led a revolt against David, Amasa was told to amass the troops to put down the rebellion. Three days later, Amasa had not followed this order. David quickly put Abishai over his troops to handle the rebellion.

We know little about Jether, who is also called Jithra and Ithra, depending upon which Bible you pick up. He is called Jithra the Israelite in 2Sam. 17:25; however, it makes little sense to identify someone as an Israelite. You might identify someone by their tribe or by their father, but not as an Israelite as though that causes you to stand apart from any other Israelite in a book filled with Israelites. Therefore, it is likely that this should read Ishmaelite in 2Sam. 17:25.

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The Line of Hezron, Including Part of Caleb’s Ancestors and Segub

And Caleb ben Hezron fathered Azubah a woman and Jerioth and these her sons: Jesher and Shobab and Ardon.



And Caleb, the son of Hezron, took to wife Azubah and Jerioth, and the sons of Jerioth were Jesher, Shobab and Ardon.

This is sort of a messy verse, so let’s see what others have done with it:


CEV                                       Hezron’s son Caleb married Azubah, and their daughter was Jerioth, the mother of Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Caleb son of Hezron had children by his wife Azubah, and by Jerioth; these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon.

NASB                                    Now Caleb the son of Hezron had sons by Azubah his wife, and by Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon.

The Septuagint                      And Chaleb the son of Esrom took Gazuba to wife, and Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jasar, and Subab, and Ardon.

Young's Lit. Translation         And Caleb son of Hezron hath begotten Azubah, Isshah, and Jerioth; and these are her sons: Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon.


Here’s the problem: we begin with Caleb ben Hezron, which is simple enough. This is followed by the oft times used 3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil 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, and in the Hiphil, the causative stem, this would be better rendered sired, fathered, became the father of, became the ancestor of. Strong’s #3205 BDB #408. However, this is followed by the direct object, the proper noun Azubah, and then the feminine singular noun îshshâh (ה ָֹ ̣א) [pronounced eesh-SHAWH], which means woman, wife. Strong's #802 BDB #61. ZPEB calls Azubah the wife of Caleb, although it appears as though she is his daughter, as she is the direct object of the verb to sire, to become the father of. But then this is followed by the Hebrew word for woman or wife. Then we have the wâw conjunction, the indicator of a direct object, and Jerioth. Probably what we have is a slip of the pen by one of the scribes, who used yâlad in the Hebrew, when they should have used a different Hebrew word. ZPEB writes: The MT [Massoretic text] is obviously corrupt. It may be that Jerioth is another name for Azubah, or Azubah was at one time the wife of a man called Jerioth. Textual scholars have made various conjectural emendations. Footnote My thinking is that Caleb simply had a wife, Azubah, and her personal maid, Jerioth; and that Caleb had children by her maid rather than by her, much like what happened originally with Jacob and Rachel. I have taken this to simply mean that Caleb had three sons by Jerioth—Jesher, Shobab and Ardon—Barnes interprets this as though Azubah is Caleb’s wife and Jerioth is his mistress, and that we only have the children of Azubah listed, although he had children by both. Footnote Selman teaches that Azubah is Caleb’s wife and Jerioth is his daughter. Footnote All of these, are at best, theories, as the text is corrupt.

In any case, we suddenly leave the 10th century b.c. and return once again to the 19th and 20th centuries b.c., leaving the time of David and returning back to the days of Joseph’s sons, as Hezron dates back to Israel’s living in Egypt in freedom.

You will recall that there was a Caleb who was a great man, one of the two members of gen X who was not killed in the desert. When the twelve spies went into the Land of Promise given Israel by God, they all came out with stories of how marvelous the land was—yet ten of them were afraid to return, thinking that Israel could not conquer the people in the land. Caleb and Joshua formed the minority report, ready to go back into the land and take it, as God had given it to Israel. However, this is not the same Caleb as that, for three reasons: (1) the other Caleb is called Caleb ben Jephunneh (1Chron. 4:15), not Caleb ben Hezron; (2) their sons are all different; and, (3) the Caleb of this passage was born in Egypt under royalty during the early portion of the time that Israel was in Egypt. The Caleb that we know was also born in Egypt, but under slavery, and several hundred years later. We will examine that Caleb in 1Chron. 4. (4) Caleb ben Hezron has a late descendant—at minimum, a great grandson (1Chron. 2:20), who is a contemporary of Caleb ben Jephunneh (Ex.  31:1)

We know Azubah, Jerioth and the three sons, Jesher, Shobab and Ardon only from this passage. Because the passage is corrupt, it is impossible to say dogmatically that these children belong to either woman (it is even difficult to dogmatically say that they are both women).

And so died Azubah and so took [in marriage] to him, Caleb, Ephrath, and so she bore to him Hur.



When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, and she bore to him Hur.


In this verse, we have the Qal imperfect of lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH] which means to take, to take from, to take in marriage, to seize. The Pual is the passive intensive, and it means was stolen, was taken. Strong’s #3947 BDB #542.

Several of my sources say that Ephrath is a variant form of Ephrathah. Therefore, Ephrath in this verse should be equivalent to Ephrathah in v. 50 and in 1Chron. 4:4. Please note that Hur is actually the son of Caleb. However, by the wording in the next verse, we will not follow each and every generation of Hur, but we will note a couple of his descendants: Uri and Bezalel. They would have been born during the 400 years of Israel’s servitude to Egypt. This Bezalel is likely the Bezalel of Ex. 31:2. Now, in the Greek, it is Uri in one passage and Urias in another, meaning that perhaps these are different men of Judah with very similar ancestors Footnote however, I find that unlikely. Interestingly enough, Hur is, by tradition, thought to be the husband of Miriam (Josephus tells us this in his Antiquities III, 54). Wrong. Hur is the actual son of Caleb who was born early on in Egypt while Israel was royalty in Egypt. I suspect that Hur was in the last generation of Israelites born freemen in Egypt. He would have been perhaps 300–400 years older than Miriam. Now, I have nothing against May-December romances; however, this strains even that concept.

And Hur was the father of Uri and Uri was the father of Bezalel.



And Hur was the father of Uri and Uri was the father of Bezalel.

In the Greek, in this verse, it is Uri, and in Ex. 31:2 35:30 37:20 Footnote and 2Chron. 1:5, it is Urias, which makes it even more likely that the Bezalel here and the one found in the other passages are different men, whose ancestors have very similar names. Footnote If it was the same name, but a slightly different spelling, then we would expect to find Uri and not Urias in 2Chron. 1:5.

The Bezalel of Exodus is mentioned several times. God tells Moses that He has called him back in Ex. 31:2, and immediately identifies his lineage so that there is no confusion as to who God wants for the job. If Bezalel is very young (which we would expect, as we would expect him to be from the generation of promise rather than from gen X). God told Moses, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all crafts, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in bronze; and in the cutting of stones for settings, and in the carving of wood, that he may work in all crafts.” (Ex. 31:3–5). Moses repeats this to the people (Ex. 35:30–35), which, if Bezalel is as young as I say he is, then Moses must sell Bezalel—a youth, as their chief artisan and craftsman, to work on the tabernacle, training others—to the people of Israel, who would certainly expect an older, more experienced man. Bezalel and Oholiab, a young man from the tribe of Dan, along with some others, actually constructed the tabernacle (Ex. 36:1–7).

And after went Hezron unto a daughter of Machir a father of Gilead and he married her and he, a son of sixty years, and she bore to him Segub.



Sometime later, Hezron had sexual relations with a daughter of Machir, the founding family of Gilead. He then married her—he, at age 60. She bore Segub to him.

For whatever reason, ZPEB calls Segub a son of Hebron rather than Hezron, Footnote which I am guessing is a typo. We have no reason, in the Hebrew or the Greek, for Segub to be the son of anyone other than Hezron. We only find him named in this verse and the next. Here we have the unexpected: a connection between the lines of Judah and of Manasseh. Gilead is the area which part of the tribe of Manasseh settled in when Israel marched out of Egypt.

And Segub was the father of Jair and so he was to him twenty and three cities in a land of the Gilead.



And Segub sired Jair, who had 23 cities in the land of Gilead.

In the Hebrew, literally this reads, and he was to him twenty and three cities... And he was to him, could be and it was to him, which we would render and he had. Jair is found many times in Scripture—Num. 32:41 Deut. 3:14 Joshua 13:30 1Kings 4:13 1Chron. 2:22. His father was Segub, a man of Judah; however, his mother was a daughter of Machir, the father of Gilead. Machir is the oldest son of Manasseh. Interestingly enough, although Segub’s and Jair’s father was a renown man of Judah, Hezron—Jair is still called a descendant of Manasseh in these passages. We might guess that Jair’s grandfather died while he was young and that he and his grandmother and father returned to live with the grandmother’s tribe, Manasseh. Segub would have been a part of gen X, but Jair would have been a member of the generation of promise. Segub’s father probably died while Segub was still young and in Egypt. Then his mother may have taken him to her father’s home—her father being a man from the tribe of Manasseh. For this, or for whatever reason, his son, Jair, is clearly identified with Manasseh and not with Judah.

And so took, Geshur and Aram, Havvoth-jair [or, encampments of Jair] from them, [and] Kenath and her villages—60 towns—all these sons of Machir, father of Gilead.



Later, Geshur and Aram took Havvoth-jair from them, along with Kenath and her villages (60 towns)—which previously belonged to the sons of Machir, the founder of Gilead.

This is one of the few times where we need to glance at a couple of different translations:


God’s Word                           Geshur and Aram captured Havvoth Jair with Kenath and its villages (60 cities in all). All of these people were descendants of Machir, the man who first settled Gilead.

KJV                                        And he took Geshur, and Aram, with the towns of Jair, from them, with Kenath, and the towns thereof, even threescore cities. All these belonged to the sons of Machir the father of Gilead.

NKJV                                     (Geshur and Syria took from them the towns of Jair, with Kenath and its towns—sixty towns.) All these belonged to the sons of Machir the father of Gilead.

NLT                                        (Later Geshur and Aram captured the Towns of Jair and also took Kenath and its sixty surrounding villages.) All these were descendants of Makir, the father of Gilead.

The Septuagint                      And he took Gedsur and Aram, the towns of Jair from them; with Canath and its towns, sixty cities. All these belonged to sons of Machir, the father of Galaad.

Young's Lit. Translation         ...and he taketh Geshur and Aram, the small villages of Jair, from them, with Kenath and its small towns, sixty cities—all these belonged to the sons of Machir father of Gilead.


You will note that we have quite a bit of difference between the translations—even from the KJV to the NKJV, there is a major change. After the wâw consecutive, we have the 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect of lâqach (ח ַק ָל) [pronounced law-KAHKH] which means to take, to take from, to take in marriage, to seize. Strong’s #3947 BDB #542. This is pretty much a play on the language. Throughout this chapter, we have people taking other people in marriage, as this is a genealogy (vv. 19, 21); and now we have a different sort of taking. We would, like Young and the translators of the KJV and the Septuagint, expect this verb to refer back to Jair. However, the Hebrew often has a singular verb, followed by a singular noun, and then the actions of a second noun are incorporated into that verb. What we do not see in the English is the untranslated Hebrew word which tells us what the direct object of the verb is; the object of the verb is Havvoth-jair. Havvoth-jair might be read the encampments of Jair. In front of Havvoth-jair, we have the sign of a direct object. We do not find the same indicator prior to Geshur or Aram; therefore, Geshur and Aram are the subjects of the verb, and not the objects. Geshur is a country east of the upper half of the Jordan River. They were one of the borders to Israel—specifically to the territory of Jair. They are listed specifically as people indigenous to the Land of Promise that the Israelites did not drive out (Joshua 13:11–13). Apart from this verse, which would have been written late in Israel’s history, we known nothing else about this incident. Aram—which is Syria—is further north, east of the Sea of Galilee, and they also apparently took some of this territory away from Israel.

These 23–60 towns were found on the northwest frontier of Bashan, which would be on the east side of the upper Jordan River. Even throughout David’s reign as king, they appeared to have their own king (2Sam. 3:3 13:37 14:23 15:8). Now, there are some who allege contradiction here. In the previous verse it was 23 towns and in this one it is 60. There are two possible explanations. When Jair settled this area, there were 23 small encampments; they grew to 60 by the time that Geshur and Aram captured them. Another, and better, explanation, offered by Keil and Delitzsch, is that Jair took 23 cities and Nobah took an additional 37 cities (see Num. 32:41–42); and the cities which were taken were those which belonged to Jair and to Nobah (the cities which Nobah took were called Kenath and its villages).

Kenath is mentioned separately as this became one of the cities of the Decapolis (it was named Kanatha). Footnote

And after a death of Hezron in Caleb Ephrathah, and a wife of Hezron, Abijah, and so she bore to him Ashhur, a father of Tekoa.



After the death of Hezron, Caleb went into Abijah, the wife of Hezron, and she bore Ashhur, the founder of Tekoa, to him.

We need to look at some other translations again:


The Emphasized Bible           And after the death of Hezron, Caleb entered Ephrathah,—and the wife of Hezron was Abiah, who bare him Ashur, father of Tekoa.

JPS (Tanakh)                        After the death of Hezron, in Caleb-ephrathah, Abijah, wife of Hezron, bore Ashhur, the father of Tekoa.

NASB                                    And after the death of Hezron in Caleb-ephrathah, Abijah, Hezron’s wife, bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa.

REB                                       After the death of Hezron, Caleb had intercourse with Ephrathah and she bore him Ashhur the founder of Tekoa.

Septuagint                             And after the death of Esron, Chaleb came to Ephratha; and the wife of Esron, Abia; and she bore him Ascho, the father of Thecoe. [According to the REB notes, Footnote the Septuagint leaves off the wife of Esron, Abia; however, it is there in my version of the Septuagint].

Young's Lit. Translation         And after the death of Hezron in Caleb-Ephratah, then the wife of Hezron, Abijah, even beareth to him Ashhur, father of Tekoa.

This is going to be a rugged verse which will require a great deal of work. My thinking is the most of the names we are going to find will either be those who have come into the land of Egypt, those who were born free in the land of Egypt, and those who were of gen X or of the generation of promise who left Egypt. I don’t know that we will see much in between of those born into slavery. My thinking is also that this Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Joseph, and his son Caleb, were the almost the last two generations of freemen in Egypt. Caleb seems to have taken a handful of wives and has had a butt load of children, these children being possibly the last born free in Egypt. Where they lived in Egypt was called Caleb Ephratha. One simple explanation is that Hezron lived with Caleb and his wife Ephrathah during his final years (this Caleb appears to be quite rich and successful, given all the wives and children that he had), and died there. Hezron’s wife had a baby soon thereafter, making it unclear whether this son was Hezron’s or Caleb’s. In any case, we are not speaking of any territory in the land of Israel. The fact that the city of Bethlehem used to be called Ephrathah (Gen. 33:19 48:1) is coincidental, unless, of course, she was named after her birthplace. We already know that Caleb was the actual son of Hezron (1Chron. 2:9) and that Hezron was born a son of Perez outside of Egypt prior to moving to Egypt (Gen. 46:12 1Chron. 2:5). Now, Caleb will occupy a specific portion of land in Israel, but that is a different Caleb who lived 400 years later.

In the Greek, after Hezron died, Caleb goes to Ephrathah. The REB suggests that Caleb went in Ephrathah, referring to sexual intercourse. Whether the Septuagint translators had better manuscripts or whether they were trying to make sense out of this verse, we don’t know. However, the Vulgate (the Latin Bible) is in agreement here with the Septuagint. This still leaves us with three possibilities: (1) Hezron’s wife, Abijah, may have been pregnant by him and, after his death, bore him a son. (2) As ZPEB implies, there was sort of a Levirate marriage with Hezron’s son, Caleb. (3) The text should read as does the Revised English Bible, and after Hezron’s death, Caleb went into Ephrathah (had sex with her). However, back in v. 19, Ephrath (Ephrathah) is said to be Caleb’s wife already.

Now, let me tell you what I believe happened. Hezron was well off and kept on taking wives (the previous one mentioned from v. 21 he took at age 60 and she bore him a child). So he takes another wife, Abijah. Then he dies. Caleb, giving the Levirate marriage as an excuse, but mostly because he is a male, has sexual relations with his father’s wife, and she bears a child to him (Ashhur). At some point in time in the transmission of the text, this totally offends some scribe, and he disguises what occurred. The text is not close enough to allow for a simple transmission error, but, as we find it in the Hebrew, it makes little or no sense. The reasons that the various translations seem to be at odds with one another is that it is nigh impossible to pull together a reasonable sentence given what we find here.

Ashhur, (not to be confused with Asshur, the son of Shem, the founder of the Assyrian people), is mentioned here and in 1Chron. 4:5. He is called the father of Tekoa in both places. Tekoa is not mentioned, as a person, anywhere else, and, in 1Chron. 4:5–7, Asshur’s two wives and children by these wives are given, but Tekoa is not among these seven children. ZPEB reasonably suggests that Asshur is the father of Tekoa, the city in Judah. This is a city conveyed to Judah as per Joshua 15:59 in the Septuagint (it is not found in the Hebrew text). Asshur would have been the proper generation to move into the land and to found a particular city or area. What the Hebrew might mean is rather than Ashhur being the father of someone named Tekoa, he might have been the one who moved his family into Tekoa and settled it. There will be an inordinate number of names throughout this chapter which match cities of Judah, and we might take them the same way.

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The Hezron Line: from Jerahmeel, in Egypt Before Slavery, to the Dispersion

And so were sons of Jerahmeel, firstborn of Hezron: the firstborn Ram and Bunah and Oren and Ozem Ahijah.



And so the sons of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron, were Ram, the oldest, and Bunah, Oren, and Ozem, his brothers.

We know very little about the descendants of Jerahmeel in general, other than they lived in the southern portion of Judah (1Sam. 27:10). They are again mentioned in 1Sam. 30:29.

Recall that Jerahmeel has a brother Ram, his father’s son, and he names his firstborn son, Ram. This is the less famous of the two Ram’s, mentioned only here. Ditto for Bunah, Oren and Ozem Footnote all three are found only here. After Ozem in the Septuagint, we have his brother rather than Ahijah (which means brother of Jehovah). The Syriac translation reads his brothers. Barnes, Keil and Delitzsch, and the REB all suggest that this means by Ahijah, referring to the wife of Jerahmeel. However, there are ten other people in Scripture with this name, all of them male, so that is unlikely. Keil and Delitzsch explain this by saying that the name Ahijah was corrupted.

And so was a woman another to Jerahmeel and her name, Atarah; she [was] a mother of Onam.



Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam.

We find Atarah only in this verse; her son, Onam, is mentioned only here and in v. 28.

And so were sons of Ram, a firstborn of Jerahmeel: Maaz and Jamin and Eker.



The first born of Jerahmeel, Ram, had three sons: Maaz, Jamin and Eker.

Maaz, Jamin and Eker are found only in this verse. For reasons which I do not understand, ZPEB named one of these guys as being of post exilic origin. I don’t know that I can buy that at all.

And so were sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada and sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur.



Onam had the sons Shammai and Jada; Jada’s sons were Nadab and Abishur.

Onam was the son of Jerahmeel by his other wife, Atarah. We only know Shammai and Jada by their mention here and in v. 32, Nadab by this verse and v. 30 and Abishur by this verse and the next.

And a name of a woman of Abishur: Abihail and she bore to him Ahban and Molid.



Abishur’s wife’s name was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid.

There are five Abihail’s in Scripture—three males and two females. This Abihail is found only here, as are her sons.


Now, we have begun to enter into lists of names which have little or no meaning for us. What should we get out of this?


1.    We shouldn’t forget, first of all, that not all of God’s Word is written to us, about us or for us. Some people go to the Bible and, for instance, incorrectly claim Acts 2 as theirs, even though their actual experience is not anything like that found in Acts 2. Some people try to live by every word of Jesus, although not everything that He said was for us, about us or to us.

2.    These names are important to some believers; in fact, to those who returned from exile, these names were very important—they established their territory and their stake in Israel.

3.    Know that God does not forget those who are His. History may have forgotten these people, but God remembers them and their names are recorded in His Book of Life.

4.    There are a huge number of silent heroes in the Church Age. These are people who you may see in church, but never really wanted to talk to. While you might be praying about your job or your finances or for a date, they are praying for God to run interference in your life, for the salvation of your family, for the strength of your witness.

5.    You know, just not everyone in your family is going to be a person of note. We are principally following out the sons of Hezron, who was the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob (Israel). You just cannot expect each and every person in his line to be a person who is named in Scripture. In fact, from a realistic standpoint, there are an unusual number of men of note in the line of Hezron.

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And sons of Nadab: Seled and Appaim. And so died Seled—no sons.



The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim; Seled died childless.

Seled is found only in this verse; Appaim (or, little face) is only found here and in the next verse.

And sons of Appaim: Ishi; and sons of Ishi: Sheshan; and sons of Sheshan: Ahlai.



The son of Appaim was Ishi, Ishi’s son was Sheshan, and Sheshan’s daughter was Ahlai.

At this point, as we have seen at other times, we follow out one particular line for several generations. The wording allows for this line to skip several generations at any point. There are four Ishi’s found in Chronicles; all of them different men. We’ll go into more detail about Sheshan and his daughter, Ahlai in v. 34 (in v. 34, we will be told that he had no sons, only daughters). As should be obvious by this verse alone, the sons of simply refers to the descendants of without regard to gender or number.

And sons of Jada, brother of Shammai: Jether and Jonathan. And so died Jether, no sons.



The sons of Jada, brother to Shammai, were Jether and Jonathan. Jether died childless.

There are quite a number of Jether’s in Scripture—almost all have a different ethnic origin. There are nearly a dozen Jonathan’s in Scripture, this one being found only here and in the next verse.

And sons of Jonathan: Peleth and Zaza. These were sons of Jerahmeel.



And the sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. All these were the sons of Jerahmeel.

Peleth and Zaza around found only here.

It appears as though we are closing out the line of Jerahmeel here, but we are primarily closing out his immediate line and this particular section of 1Chron. 2, as v. 25 began with the sons of Jerahmeel, which is how this verse finishes. It appropriately bookends this section. Next, we will follow one of his lines all the way out to the time of King David and beyond in vv. 36–41. Why we actually have this sentence, all these were sons of Jerahmeel, is explained later on in this chapter and has to do with the way that the writer of Chronicles organized these few chapters. At this point, we will deal with supplementary information on the line of Jerahmeel (my first guess is that what was here was supplemented sometime later by a different writer (who added in the additional information on the lines of Jerahmeel and Caleb); my second guess is that the writer goes to an additional set of documents altogether). In either case, this portion of the line of Jerahmeel ben Hezron is followed out a dozen or so generations, which would be about 300 years, taking this line way further out than any other line in this chapter.

And were not to Sheshan sons—but if daughters. And Sheshan had a slave, Egyptian, and his name, Jarha. And so gave Sheshan his daughter to Jarha his slave to wife. And so she bore to him Attai.



And Sheshan had no sons—only daughters. However, Sheshan had an Egyptian slave whose name was Jarha. He therefore gave his daughter to Jarha to marry Jarha. She bore to him Attai.

Sheshan was mentioned back in v. 31 and now we follow his line out in a linear fashion. The NIV Study Bible suggests that this is thirteen generations (23 generations since Judah), which takes us to an otherwise unknown contemporary of David. However, we should think this through. Since Sheshan has an Egyptian slave, Sheshan is not living in Egypt during the time of slavery. That places him either prior to slavery or after slavery. Perez is one of the twin sons born to Judah outside of Egypt. He had a son, Hezron, who was also born outside of Egypt (yet was probably quite young when he entered into Egypt with his family (Gen. 46:12). Hezron grew up in Egypt and had a son, Jerahmeel in the land. This takes us roughly 20 years into Egypt. Jerahmeel has a son, Onam, by his second wife. This should take us 40–60 years into the time of Egypt. Then we follow at least six more generations to take us to Sheshan. Now, if these were consecutive generations, certainly we would find ourselves in the midst of Egyptian slavery, making it highly unlikely that Sheshan would have an Egyptian slave. This means that Sheshan has to be outside the Egyptian enslavement period (I don’t believe that we have a list of consecutive family names under Egyptian slavery—when we know the people named, they appear to jump from those born free in Egypt to those who are either members of gen X or the generation of promise. Given the slavery that Israel was under, this would make sense that these names would not be recorded. People would simply be known by the general family that they were in, established by those Jews who were born free in Egypt. Now, even assuming that we have a linear line without breaks—a highly unlikely proposition—and given that we have generations prior to Sheshan who were born in Egyptian slavery and whose names were recorded anyway, then this would take us into David’s generation. However, if you push the generations forward in time, taking into consideration the gaps and the generations skipped while under Egyptian slavery, this line, which ends at v. 41, could take us all of the way to the final dispersion.

When a man had only daughters (or, in this case, a daughter and no sons), then his family’s inheritance was preserved by having her marry someone from her own tribe (Num. 36). Sheshan, instead, gave his daughter to his slave. Although this is not what was prescribed by the Law of Moses, this was not an unheard of custom. Freeman gives an example of one slave, Hassan, who not only was given the daughter of a his master, Kamel, but also received a portion of Kamel’s wealth when he died, and the slave also succeeded this man in office. Footnote This also provides us some insight as to the relationship a slave might have with his master. Whereas, we have had it beat into us that slavery is a horrible institution and that slaves always received inhumane treatment, this apparently was not always the case and Sheshan trusted and respected his slave enough to give him his daughter (and his inheritance) in marriage.

How Far Out in Time Do These Lines Go?

Arguments in Favor of this Line Ending During the Time of King David

Arguments in Favor of this Line Going to the Dispersion of Israel

The time line found in chapter 3 does not take us into the reign of Solomon, but simply follows David’s line out to his sons.

If this line ended around the time of David, then we would have to have 20–30 year generations with practically no gaps and several names of those born in Egyptian slavery would have been preserved (this would be quite unusual).

If David’s line is not followed out to the various kings who anteceded him, why on earth would be follow some line of unknowns?

David’s line takes us to the great man of the kingdom. The book of Chronicles takes us through his reign and the reigns of those who followed him.


All of the names found in this genealogy would be unknown to us apart from the genealogy—that is, there are several people found in this line who might be those who are later associated with David and beyond. However, if this line simply runs to David, then they would all have to be relatively unknown to us.


The line which we are following is in a supplemental section which was added after the first line. This either came from a different source or from a different author.

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Owen’s Analytical Key to the Old Testament is an outstanding reference book for the Massoretic text and for those who do not know any Hebrew. However, there are mistakes now and again. The conjunction named here is incorrectly listed as BDB #481; however, the compound word found here is kîy îm (ם ̣א י ̣) [pronounced kee-eem] which literally is because if; however, together they act as a limitation on the preceding thought, and therefore should be rendered but, except, unless and possibly only. Strong’s #3588 & 518 BDB #471 & 49. BDB #474.

As we all know, there are those who allege that the Bible is filled with contradictions and that this is one of them. Sheshan is said, in v. 31 to have the son Ahlai; in v. 34, he is said to have no sons, only daughters. We actually have several possibilities to explain this. (1) Ahlai and Attai are similar names for the same person (perhaps the Egyptian and Hebrew version of the same name?). Anyone born to his daughter would be considered a son of Sheshan’s. (2) Sheshan could have had other daughters, and one of them named one of their sons Ahlai, who would be known as a son of Sheshan as well. (3) Anyone in the line of his daughters could be considered a son of Sheshan. (4) Finally, the simplest solution is that Sheshan’s daughter was named Ahlai. My thinking is that either #1 or #4 is the correct explanation. One of David’s mighty men, Zabad, is called a son of Ahlai and is also named in the next verse in the line of Sheshan. We are far enough in this line for the Zabad of the next verse to be one of David’s mighty men (1Chron. 11:41).

Jarha is mentioned only here and Attai here and the next verse.

And Attai fathered Nathan and Nathan fathered Zabad and Zabad fathered Ephlal and Ephlal fathered Obed and Obed fathered Jehu and Jehu fathered Azariah and Azariah fathered Helez and Helez fathered Eleasah and Eleasah fathered Sismai and Sismai fathered Shallum and Shallum fathered Jekamiah and Jekamiah fathered Elishama.



And Attai sired Nathan, who sired Zabad who sired Ephlal, who sired Obed, who sired Jehu, who sired Azariah, who sired Helez, who sired Eleasah, who sired Sismai, who sired Shallum, who sired Jekamiah, who sired Elishama.

We are down to generations of men who live normal 70 year life spans. This means that if Nathan and Zabad are those men associated with King David, circa the 10th century b.c., then these names would take us 300–400 years into history, taking us into the 6th century b.c. (I am figuring three generations per century—it could actually be less than that). I mention this, as, given the time that the chronicler wrote, this would make him a citizen of the 5th or 6th century b.c., which is right in line with the lists of names which he has given us.

There are possibly six different Nathan’s in Scripture; the most famous of whom is Nathan the prophet who advised, exhorted and corrected King David. It is reasonable that the Nathan, Attai (Ahlai), and Zabad mentioned here are the very men whose names are closely associated with the life of King David. The time frame is right; the relationships are similar (Zabad, one of David’s mighty men—1Chron. 11:41—is called the son of Ahlai, which is an acceptable use of the word son in Hebrew). Nathan’s name pops up throughout David’s history—particularly when David is being disciplined—yet, he is not tied in these other writings to any particular family. Also, you will note that King David, the most powerful man in his periphery, the greatest leader of Israel, both in the political and the military realms, a man who has written Scripture—takes direction from Nathan, his spiritual leader.

The Obed found here is probably not the Obed found in v. 25. He may have been one of David’s mighty men—although it is unlikely for Zabad and he to both be so classified as they would have been child and grandfather. It would be possible for him to be the Obed who is called the father of Azariah in 2Chron. 23:1, who made an alliance with Jehoiada.

Ephlal, Helez Sismai Jekamiah are only mentioned in this passage (although there are two other Helez’s in Scripture).

There are several Jehu’s; however, this one seems to belong to this passage only.

According to ZPEB, there may be as many as 27 different Azariah’s. There is one found in narrative—Azariah, son of Nathan, who was an official in the court of Solomon (1Kings 4:5) who would have lived in approximately the correct time period.

Eleasah, in the Hebrew, is equivalent to the name Elasah—however, this particular Eleasah is found only here.

There could be as many as fifteen different Shallum’s in the Bible. This particular Shallum appears to be only in this list.

Elishama may occur only here, although there are seven of them in all. It is possible that he is equivalent to the scribe Elishama who heard Baruch read the words of God in Jer. 36:12. The scroll that these words were written on were kept with the Elishama until it was taken to be read to the king (Jer. 36:20–21).

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The Line of Hezron: Caleb’s Line is Continued

When I first began working on this book, I was at a loss as to why on earth did we return to the line of Caleb. Why didn’t we just deal with the entire line back with vv. 18–24? My problem was the way that I divided up the sections of this chapter. I did not see the reasoning of the original writer. If we follow his thinking, then this makes complete sense. A portion of this chapter and the next are organized by inversion: Footnote

Alternate Outline

       The Descendants of Ram (David’s ancestry)                                                                 1Chron. 2:10–17

       The Descendants of Caleb                                                                                               1Chron. 2:18–24

       The Descendants of Jerahmeel                                                                                       1Chron. 2:25–33

       Supplementary Material on the Descendants of Jerahmeel                                  1Chron. 2:34–41

       Supplementary Material on the Descendants of Caleb                                          1Chron. 2:42–55

       Supplementary Material on the Descendants of Ram (David’s Descendants)    1Chron. 3

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NIV Study Bible: The Chronicler has structured this central portion of the Judah genealogy to highlight the Davidic ancestry and descent, which frame this section and emphasize the position of David. Footnote When you view it from this perspective, this chapter and the next are very well organized. My thinking is that the first three sections came from one set of source material, and the second three sections came from another set of source material. For our first line of Jerahmeel, this line begins and ends with the sons of Jerahmeel, even though we continue with his line in the following verse. This appears to set it apart from the text which follows. Ditto for the supplementary line of Caleb, which begins and ends with the sons of Caleb. It cries out to be held separate from the surrounding text (after v. 50a, we follow one branch of Caleb’s line: the line of Hur). Furthermore, one additional thing which will set this section of Caleb’s descendants apart from the previous section is that there are a number of cities found in this passage. If it were simply one or two, or if these cities were found throughout Israel, we would puppy out and say that we have people who simply have the same name as the cities. However, there are about ten cities named here which are in the territory of Judah. That is too much of a coincidence. Therefore, we must conclude that these are cities, not necessarily people’s names, and that, when we see and Caleb was the father of Ziph, that, in certain instances, it may be taken to mean, and Caleb was the founder of [the city of] Ziph.

And sons of Caleb, brother of Jerahmeel: Mesha, his firstborn; he a father of Ziph. And sons of Mareshah, Abi-Hebron and sons of Hebron: Korah and Tappuah and Rekem and Shema.



And the descendants of Caleb, brother of Jerahmeel, included Mesha, his firstborn, who founded Ziph. The sons of Mareshah [Mesha] included Abi-Hebron [i.e., the father of Hebron], whose sons were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema.

Here, we return to the line of Caleb (not the Caleb that we find primarily in Numbers). We began to follow out the line of Caleb back in vv. 18–24; then, from vv. 25–41, we have been following the line of Jerahmeel, who was Hezron’s firstborn (recall that this chapter is principally the line of Hezron, who was the son of Perez). We will also pick up with Caleb’s line again when we get to chapter 4 of this book.

With this verse, we have some problems in the translation; we jump back and forth between saying so-and-so is the father of; then we have the sons of Chuck are. Footnote Therefore, let’s see what some others have done with this verse:


God’s Word                         The descendants of Caleb (Jerahmeel’s brother) were his firstborn son Mesha, who first settled Ziph, and the sons of Mareshah, who first settled Hebron. Hebron’s sons were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema.

JPS (Tanakh)                        The sons of Caleb brother of Jerahmeel: Meshah his first-born, who was the father of Ziph. The sons of Mareshah father of Hebron. The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema.

NASB                                    Now the sons of Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel, were Mesha his first-born, who was the father of Ziph; and his son [lit., son] was Mareshah, the father of Hebron. And the sons of Hebron were Korah and Tappuah and Rekem and Shema.

Septuagint                             And the sons of Caleb, brother of Jerahmeel, [were] Marisa, his firstborn (he [is] the father of Ziph]; and the sons of Marisa, the father of Chebron. And the sons of Chebron [were] Core and Thapphus, and Recom and Samaa.

Young's Lit. Translation         And sons of Caleb brother of Jerahmeel: Mesha his first-born, he is father of Ziph; and sons of Mareshah: Abi-Hebron. And sons of Hebron: Korah, and Tappuah, and Rekem, and Shema.

You will note several problems: (1) Is Ziph a person or a place (and ditto for Hebron); and, (2) who is Mareshah and who is Mareshah related to?

Back in v. 9, Hezron’s first three sons were named: Jerahmeel, Ram and Caleb (Chelubai). Hezron was born in the land, but he moved to Egypt as a part of Judah’s extended family and it is his sons, born to him in Egypt, whose lines we have followed. Caleb would have been born to him in Egypt and Caleb’s children were also born in Egypt as a royal family. When we find the words his wife and firstborn, we know that we are speaking of a father, mother, son relationship. If we simply find the words the son of, the father of or became the father of, then we might be skipping several generations. Caleb has been mentioned as having married several women in vv. 18–19. He is said to have had sons by his first wife, Azubah, but they are not named in v. 18. It would be reasonable to suppose that Mesha, in this verse, is his firstborn by Azubah. He is named only in this verse. It is supposed by most (including those who translated the Septuagint) that Mesha is Mareshah—it is certainly not a typo. This would seem reasonable, as there is a city named Mareshah, which, during and after the exile, was known as Marisa (perhaps it is possible that this city in Judah took its name from this person?). However, I think that it is more likely that Mesha and Mareshah are simply two different people—both sons of Caleb, which is how I treated them in the family line at the beginning of this chapter). Another possibility is that Ziph, here, is not a person, but the Judæan city of Ziph, which is settled by the family of Mesha (Joshua 15:24). Although, I have nothing to back this up, I wonder if the text should not read: And sons of Caleb (brother of Jerahmeel): Mesha, his first-born, father of Ziph, father of Hebron? You will note what Young does—he takes the portion which reads father of and attaches it to Hebron as part of his name—Abi-Hebron. Young’s solution does the least damage to the extent Massoretic text, so I will follow his lead here. This portion is the biggest hump in the passage. Let me sum up the options below:

Mesha, Mareshah and Ziph—vv. 42–43

Option #1: Mesha = Mareshah and Ziph is a city

Option #2: Mesha Mareshah and Ziph is a person

Option #3: the father of Hebron is the name Abi-Hebron

The descendants of Caleb (Jerahmeel’s brother) were: Mesha (his firstborn); Mesha (or, Mareshah) founded Ziph and was the father of Hebron. Hebron’s sons were: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema.

The son of Caleb (Jerahmeel’s brother) was Mesha, his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph; and [his] son was Mareshah, the father of Hebron. Hebron’s sons were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema.

The son of Caleb (Jerahmeel’s brother) was Mesha, his firstborn—he was the father of Ziph; and sons of Mareshah: Abi-Hebron. And Hebron’s sons were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema.

This follows the lead of the Septuagint; two similar names for the same person is found throughout this chapter, the Bible, and in pretty much every human language. This interpretation does very little damage to the original.

The problem is, after Ziph, the phrase and his son was Mareshah is really and sons of Mareshah in the Hebrew, which is just the opposite in meaning.

Practically no damage done to the Massoretic text; who Mareshah is and how he is related to Mesha, is not resolved, however.

Conclusion: I prefer the first interpretation, insofar as it does no damage to the original Hebrew or Greek, and makes two small and reasonable assumptions (that Mesha is the same guy as Mareshah and that Ziph is a city).

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Ziph is found as a place in Joshua 15:24 (a city in the Negev given over the Judah), a person in 1Chron. 4:16, Footnote and it is uncertain here whether Ziph is a person or a place. There is also another city Ziph, in the hill country of Judah, found in Joshua 15:55, which is the city that we hear about in Samuel and Chronicles.

The person, Hebron, is mentioned only in this verse. The place Hebron, also located in Judah, is found in mentioned over 50 times in Scripture (its earlier name was Kirjath-Arba), and we covered it in Joshua 10:3 14:15 Judges 1:10. My thinking is that some of these cities, when founded by the generation of promise, became so synonymous with that family that the family was recalled by the name of the city. Since there are so many names in this passage of Scripture which are also the names of cities, my thinking is that we are speaking of the families who founded the cities (whose family name could have been different). The name of the city was easier to recall than the name of the family. Keil and Delitzsch indicate that they believe these to be primarily the name of the people themselves, primarily because there are several places where these names are used in conjunction with the son of or the father of. Footnote

There are several Korah’s in Scripture. This one is found only here.

In this passage, we have several people whose names are the same as cities of Judah. Tappuah, as a person, is found only here; as a city in Judah, Joshua 15:52 (actually, it is called Beth-Tappuah, which means City of Tappuah). This would suggest that we have gone from the first generation of Jews in Egypt to the generation of Israelites who settled Palestine under Joshua (or, at least the families which settled Palestine).

Although Rekem is both a city (Joshua 18:27) and a person, the city is in Benjamin, which borders Judah, which lessens the likelihood of their being a connection between the two.

Shema is both a city in Judah (Joshua 15:26) and a person mentioned only here (there are four other people named Shema in Scripture).

And Shema was a father of Raham, a father of Jorkeam and Rekem was a father of Shammai. And a son of Shammai: Maon; and Maon a father of Bethzur.



Shema was the ancestor of Raham, who was the ancestor of Jorkeam and Rekem, the latter being the ancestor of Shammai, who was the ancestor of Maon, who was the ancestor of Bethzur.

In the previous passage, we had a number of men for whom cities were probably named, indicating that these were probably men from the generation of promise. Now we follow out one of those lines. Raham is found only in this passage. Rekem is obviously a different person that his great uncle in the previous passage. Shammai (there are three of them) is found only here. His namesakes are also found only in Chronicles.

Because we really do not know any of these people, we cannot place them in time. Therefore, we do not know whether the Jorkeam of this verse founded the city named in Joshua 15:56. Furthermore, the connection between Maon and the city of Maon (Joshua 15:55), which is in the hill country of Judah, is unknown. If the names of the previous passage were eponyms, it would appear to make this Maon too far down the line to be an eponym himself. The Maonites who are hostile toward Israel (Judges 10:12) are unlikely to be related to this bunch.

Bethzur is also a city named in Joshua 15:58 2Chron. 11:7 Neh. 3:16. If the Bethzur of this passage were the founder of that city, it would have been renamed to Bethzur.

This entire last portion of 1Chron. 2 is unclear. It makes me wonder just what happened. Did someone try to restore some unreadable text by using the book of Joshua and improvising? Are these actually the names of descendants of Caleb whose relationship was blurred due to poor manuscripts? It just seems unusual to have men this far down the line from Caleb for whom cities were named. It seems too coincidental for so many men to have names which are the same as cities in Judah. We have at least ten generations from Caleb (born in Egypt, still free) to Bethzur. They could have been all legitimately been born under slavery to Egypt (albeit unlikely), and that either their families or they themselves, in the case of those at the end of the line, settled the cities in Judah.

And Ephah, a mistress of Caleb, bore Haran and Moza and Gazez; and Haran fathered Gazez.



And Caleb’s mistress, Ephah, bore Haran, Moza and Gazez. Haran fathered Gazez.

With this verse and the next, this passage does not get any better. We do not know what Caleb’s is followed here and back in the early portion of this book as well. He collected several wives and concubines and is probably father to more Israelites (if this passage is accurate) than anyone else of his generation. He just about single-handedly founded the tribe of Judah.

There are three Ephah’s in Scripture. It is a masculine or feminine name. This particular Ephah is found only here, and the name, in the Hebrew, is too different from Ephrath to be the same person. Haran and Moza are found only here (there are two other Haran’s in Scripture). It is unclear whether there are two Gazez’s in this passage or one. Strict reading would make one the uncle of the other. However, there is enough latitude in these lines to allow for them to be the same person.

Sons of Jahdai: Regem and Jotham and Geshan and Pelet and Ephah and Shaaph.



The sons of Jahdai [a mistress of Caleb] were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph.

Given vv. 46 and 48, which begin with a mistress of Caleb, it would appear that Jahdai is a mistress of Caleb as well. However, it is possible that he is a son of Caleb, unclear as to whom he (or she) is related. It would make less sense for this to be a part of the line of Ephah, the mistress of Caleb in the previous verse, as this line’s beginning is unclear.

Regem is found only in this verse; ditto with Geshan, who is not found at all in early editions of the King James Bible. There are three unrelated Jotham’s in Scripture, all unrelated (apart from the fact that they are all Jews). There is a Shaaph in this verse and in v. 49, who are both in the line of Caleb, but they would not be the same person. There are two unrelated Pelet’s found in Scripture, the other in 1Chron. 12:3.

A mistress of Caleb, Maacah—he fathered Sheber and Tirhanah. And so she bore Shaaph, father of Madmannah; Sheva, father of Machbenah and a father of Gibea; and a daughter of Caleb, Achsah.



Through his mistress, Maacah, Caleb fathered Sheber, Tirhanah, Shaaph (the father of Madmannah), Sheva (the father of Machbenah and of Gibea), and Achsah, Caleb’s daughter.

There are ten people in Scripture with the name Maacah—six women and four men. Sheber, Tirhanah, Sheva and Gibea are found only in this passage. Madmannah is a city in Judah, which could be founded by Shaaph, his descendants, or by Madmannah himself (Joshua 15:31). Machbenah is found only here, although ZPEB suggests that it might be related to the city Carbon from Joshua 15:40. The Shaaph in this passage is obviously not the same as the Shaaph in the previous verse.

Both ZPEB and Keil and Delitzsch identify the Achsah here with the Achsah of Joshua 15:16–17 and Judges 1:12–13. In order for that to be true, this Achsah would have had to have been sorely misplaced. She is just flat out in the wrong Caleb line (she would belong in 1Chron. 4) and she is too early in this line besides. We simply have two men, both in the line of Judah, both named Caleb, who lived about 3–4 centuries apart, who both named a daughter Achsah. The only reason for saying that these are the same woman is that they both have a father Caleb and they both apparently stood out in their respective lines. However, this does not make them the same person. However, although Keil and Delitzsch carefully distinguish this Caleb from Caleb ben Jephunneh who lived during the time of Moses, they still hold that this woman, Achsah, is the other Caleb’s female descendant, way down the road. Footnote

These were sons of Caleb.



These were the descendants of Caleb.

Many place v. 50a with the previous few verses and others include it with the next section. I must admit that I flip-flopped on this several times. Several Bible translations (e.g., NASB, NIV, NJB, NRSV) and exegetes (e.g., Scofield and Bob Thieme) see it that way. However, v. 50 literally reads, in the Hebrew: These were sons of Caleb, son of Hur, firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal... In order for this to be the same Caleb found previously, son of Hur would be sons of Hur (to refer to those who followed). Footnote The upshot of all this is that we have two possibilities: (1) v. 50a is a conclusion to the previous several verses (similar to v. 33b), which tells us that we have come to the end of the line of Caleb; and v. 50b picks up with the sons of Hur; or, (2) this Caleb is a son of Hur—in fact his firstborn by Ephrathah—and this begins a new genealogy based upon the descendants of Caleb, the grandson of the Caleb in the previous verses. Position #2 is supported by the Hebrew text and the ones who made the verse divisions (which is not a ringing endorsement) and position #1 is supported by the Latin and Greek texts, where we have sons of Hur, rather than son of Hur. Both positions can go back to v. 33b, which ends with These were the sons of Jerahmeel. However, this could be taken to end that particular section or to begin the next section, which is essentially a supplementary section which provides more information on the sons of Jerahmeel (I don’t split up vv. 25–41 into two sections, but the notes in the NLT do. What swayed me was that Caleb was married to an Ephrath who bore him a son Hur in v. 19. Hur would not be called the firstborn of Caleb, because he wasn’t. However, he would reasonably be called the firstborn of Ephrathah as the wife of Caleb. We will have a similar beginning to the next section, which reads: And the sons of Hur (the firstborn of Ephrathah: were... We find that long section will end in 1Chron. 4:4.

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The Line of Hezron: Hur Son of Caleb, by Ephrathah

Sons of Hur, firstborn of Ephrathah [by Caleb]: Shobal, a father of Kiriath-jearim; Salma, a father of Bethlehem; [and] Hareph, a father of Beth-gader.



The sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal, the founder of Kiriath-jearim; Salma, the founder of Bethlehem; and Hareph, the founder of Beth-gader.

In the Hebrew, this begins a son of Hur, firstborn of Ephrathah... However, this is plural in the Septuagint and the Vulgate.

Recall that Hur was a son of Caleb by Ephrath, who appears to be his third wife (1Chron. 2:19). Shobal, or, more probably, his ancestors, were the families who founded Kiriath-jearim after the land was taken by the generation of promise under Joshua. However, it is a bit more complicated than that. Kiriath-jearim was already a major city in the Land of Promise when Joshua stepped into the West Bank of the Jordan River. It was inhabited by Gibeonites who feared the Israelites and realized that they were simply men on the list of those who would be destroyed by Israel. So, they deceived Israel. They sent an embassy to Joshua pretended that they had come from far away (outside the Land of Promise) and were looking to make a treaty with the Israelites. Joshua made the peace treaty and then soon found out that they were the inhabitants of the next city on his list to conquer. Obviously, since he made the treaty with them, he could not revoke it, as Joshua and the Israelites were men of character and men of their word. So, what we have in this verse is the names of the men who moved to Kiriath-jearim to settle it with Israelites. We will study The City of Kiriath-jearim, by the way, in 1Sam. 6:21.

Similarly, Salma, or his descendants, would have founded Bethlehem. Now, this is not the same Salma (Salmon) that we find in Ruth 4:20–21, although the two are related, in that they have a common ancestor, Perez and then his son Hezron; however, they branch out from there. This Salma has Hezron’s son Caleb (both Caleb’s in fact) as his ancestor, while the Salma of Ruth 4 has the ancestor Ram (Caleb and Ram are both sons of Hezron). Somehow, many, many generations later, these Salma’s find themselves in Bethlehem. The Salma of this verse is the father of the people who settled in Bethlehem (we have quietly passed through nearly a dozen generations to go from Hur to Salma); and the Salma (or, Salmon of Ruth 4 and 1Chron. 2:11), settled there, having the descendant (and, possibly son) Boaz. The latter Salmon married Rahab the prostitute (Luke 3). The other possibility is that a woman in the line of Caleb married a man in the line of Ram, the result being Salma, thus uniting the lines again. Beth-gader means house of a wall.

And so were sons of Shobal, father of Kiriath-jearim: Haroeh [possibly, Reaiah] and half of the Menuhoth.



The sons of Shobal, the father of Kiriath-jearim, were: Haroeh and half of the Menuhothites.


Haroeh is thought to be possible the same as Reaiah in 1Chron. 4:2 (the REB, in fact, renders it that way in this verse). We have no clue as to who the Menuhoth’s are or if there is some town Menuhoth. Some identify the Menuhoth’s with the Manahathites of v. 54, although ZPEB suggests that is untenable in the Hebrew. However, if you are using the KJV, you may be wondering if you are in the correct verse, because they do not have Menuhoth in this verse, but Manahethites in both verses. The Hebrew is as follows: in v. 52, it is menûchôwth (תחֻנ מ) [pronounced menoo-KHOHTH], a form of which is found in Gen. 36:23 1Chron. 1:40 (Strong’s #4506) and this passage. The only difference between the two is the vowel points. Strong’s #2679 BDB #345. In v. 54, what we have is mânachêthîy, which differs primarily in the vowel points (and the latter refers to a group of people rather than to a person). They are so close in form, that there are a variety of conflicts in the lexical literature. Zodhiates lists the first word as Strong’s #4506 and the second as #2680. Wigram’s Englishman’s Hebrew Concordance of the Old Testament does not identify either one with #4506, (which is associated with Gen. 36:23 and 1Chron. 1:40) and calls the one in v. 52 Strong’s #2679 and the one from v. 54, Strong’s #2680. BDB groups the words from vv. 52 and 54 together as one word with two different Strong numbers (#2679–2680). My point in all of this is that these are so close as to confuse the experts—therefore, even though the vowel points are different, one simply appears to be the Gentis form of the other. Therefore, the other half of the tribe is found in v. 54.

And families of Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites and the Puthites and the Shumathites and the Mishraites (from these came the Zorathites) and the Eshtaolites.



The families which originally inhabited Kiriath-jearim were: the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, the Mishraites (from whom came the Zorathites) and the Eshtaolites.

We have an interesting change of pace with this verse (maybe not that interesting to you). We now list the prominent families of Kiriath-jearim. This would mean that this city was founded principally by the ancestors of Shobal, who formed the families groups listed in this verse. We find the Puthites, the Shumathites and Mishraites mentioned only in this verse. Two of David’s mighty men were from the Ithrites (Ira and Gereb—1Sam. 23:38 1Chron. 11:40).

Eshtaol is listed both as a city of Judah (Joshua 15:33) and later as a town of Dan (Joshua 19:40–41). Dan and Judah border one another and apparently some of the cities originally given over to Judah were given to other tribes in a later redistribution (principally Dan and Simeon). A second explanation, which is even more likely, is that Eshtaol and Zorah were originally given over to the tribe of Dan, who did not take them from the heathen which held them. Dan eventually retreated to the far north and Judah came in and took the cities. Someone later updated this in Joshua 15:33. Both Eshtaol are Zorah are close to Kiriath-jearim, and I am certain that we have some sort of a relationship (e.g., the Eshtaolites were a branch of the Shobal line who moved over into Eshtaol to live; and the Zorathites began living in Kiriath-jearim, but then took Zorah when it was abandoned by the tribe of Dan). Either the cities took their names from the people, or, more likely, the people took their names from the cities they chose to take. We covered Eshtaol in Judges 18:2 and Zorah in Judges 13:2 and 18:2.

Sons of Salma: Bethlehem and the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab and half the Manahathites, the Zorites,



The sons of Salma were Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth of the house of Joab, half the Manahathites, the Zorites,

It might be helpful to see how others handled this verse:


NLT                                        The descendants of Salma were Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab, the other half of the Manahathites, the Zorites,...

The Septuagint                      The sons of Salomon: Bæthalaem, the Netophathite, Ataroth of the house of Joab, and half of the family of Malathi, Esari.

Young's Lit. Translation         Sons of Salma: Beth-Lehem, and the Netophathite, Atroth, Beth-Joab, and half of the Menuhothite, the Zorite;

We might assume that this is the same Salma as be found in v. 11—however, keep in mind that the lines of brothers Ram and Caleb had to later cross in order for this to be the case. V. 11 followed the line of David, primarily, so we took no side trips for several generations until we got to Jesse. However, here we go back to Salma. Salma is again called the founder of Bethlehem (it is possible that he had a son named Bethlehem), but my thinking is that he was of the generation who moved into the Land of Promise, took it under Joshua, and settled this particular town with his family. We know nothing of a town named Netophah in Scripture, although we know of several men who were known as Netophathites. Footnote Two of David’s thirty mighty men include two Netophathites (Maharai and Heleb—2Sam. 23:28–29 1Chron. 11:30) and two of his division commanders (Maharai, again; and Heldai, who, perhaps, is Heleb—1Chron. 27:13, 15). One Levite, in particular, resided in the villages of the Netophathites (1Chron. 9:16). A delegation of Israelites send to the temporary Israelite governor (set in place by Nebuchadnezzar) included a Netophathite (2Kings 25:22–23 Jer. 40:7–8). When Israelites returned from their dispersion from Babylon, 56 of them were Netophathites (Ezra 2:22).

When it comes to Atroth, we do not know if it is Atroth beth-Joab, or Atroth, of the house of Joab, or Atroth, the house of Joab (two separate groups). If there is a house of Joab or a new Joab, this is the only place it occurs (the other Joab’s in Scripture are not related to this particular one). This is the only place where we find Atroth beth-Joab, who may be called that in order to distinguish him from Atroth-Adar, which is a city in the territory of Benjamin (Joshua 18:13). However, we don’t know much of anything else about these two cities (or, about the person Atroth beth-Joab and the city Atroth-Adar).

We have already discussed the Menuhothites, and how half of them were descended through Shobal and the other half through Salma, who appear to be brothers—sons of Hur. We need to be careful not to mix up the Manahathites here with Manahath in Gen. 36:23 and 1Chron. 1:40 8:6. Therefore, let’s look at a chart:

First of all, it is a no-brainer that different groups of people and different individuals can have the same name. Bear that in mind, as we examine this. Furthermore, sometimes coincidences occur (and it is possible that these are not coincidences but that some were named after the originals):


Manahath (Gen. 36:23) VS. Manahathites (1Chron. 2:54)


Manahath is descended from Shobel, who is descended from Seir, a Hurrian (Gen. 36:20, 23).

Shobel, son of Hur, appears to be the father of half the Manahathites (1Chron. 2:54).


 It would be reasonable to suppose that he occupied a territory south-southeast of the Dead Sea, given that he is a Horite (Hurrian).

The time frame and the context of the genealogies is completely different. In Gen. 36:23, we are dealing with the descendants of Esau coterminous with the adulthood of Jacob’s sons prior to their moving to Egypt.

There might be some sort of connection between the Manahathites and Kiriath-jearim, which is on the border of Judah, Benjamin and Dan (1Chron. 2:53–54).

In 1Chron. 2, much of the line is Caleb’s (although it is not clear whether or not there is more than one Caleb), and we are dealing with Israel after their invasion of the Land of Promise and after their 400 years in Egypt.

There is a possibility that some descendants of Caleb settled in the far south of Judah and some in Edom, making up half the city of Manahath. This does not make the similarities anything other than similarities, however.

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We’ve discussed the Zorites in the previous verse, and how they had a different ancestor. What this tells us is that several groups of people of the Judæans moved into the city of Zorah, which already had that name, and they all became known as Zorites or Zorathites.

and families of scribes, dwellers of Jabez: Tirathites, Shimeathites, Sucathites—they [are] the Kenites, the ones coming from Hammath, father of a house of Rechab.



and the families of scribes, those who live in Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Sucathites (the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab).

This passage is quite difficult to grasp. Even ZPEB reads: The passage is obscure, as the Kenites were a tribe of semi-nomadic metal workers, first noted in the Wadi Arabah, toward Tell ‘Arad (Num 24:21; Judg 1:16), and who seem to have entered the Palestinian local in the company with the tribe of Judah (cf. I Sam 15:6), which accounts for their settling with them. Footnote ZPEB says this with reference to the Shimeathites—in fact, ZPEB applies the Kenites to the first three groups, although it appears as though this should only apply to the Sucathites. In any case, ZPEB suggests intermarriage and a broad understanding of the names (that is, understanding that these groups do not all, 100% come from Salma). The Tirathites and Sucathites are also found only here. We do not know where Jabez is, although we might guess it is somewhere around Bethlehem (it is only found in this passage). The NIV Study Bible suggests, on the other hand, that the three groups of people—the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites—were three classes of scribes—those who read, those who copied and those who proofread. Footnote The Sucathites have the distinction of having the coolest family name in Scripture.

Hammath is also found only in this passage, although the difference between one or two m’s in Hebrew is simply a dot in the middle of the letter. There is an Hammath in Naphtali (Joshua 19:35). This seems to indicate that some of the Kenites moved to Jabez from Hammath and intermarried with the descendants of Salma there. We have studied the Kenites earlier (the Doctrine of the Kenites is found in Judges 1:16). They are related to the brother-in-law of Moses, Hobab, Footnote and lived in the land coterminous with the Israelites. They are generally thought to be Canaanites, although this passage seems to suggest that they are related to Israel through Salma. However, as has been pointed out, these last few verses in 1Chronicles 2 are rather obtuse. It appears as though the Kenites had a very good relationship with the nation Israel—they not only dwelt among the Israelites, but appeared to be accepted as Israelites, even though their original occupation of the land seemed to be at odds with Israel (Gen. 15:19). Since Moses’ father-in-law was a Kenite, and since he and Moses got along much better than did Moses and Moses’ wife, friendly relations broke out between the Israelites and the Kenites (Ex. 8:10–19 Num. 10:29–32). The Kenites lived among the Israelites in the land almost as family (Judges 1:16). When Saul was going to make war against the Amalekites in the land, he asked the Kenites to separate themselves from the Amalekites, so that they would not be injured in the conflict (1Sam. 15:6). Barnes: [these things]...led to their intermixture and almost amalgamation with the Israelites, [the] Kenite families not only dwelling among them but being actually regarded as of one blood with them. Footnote

If this is actually equivalent to Hamath, then this is north of Israel, and very slightly east—it is due north of Damascus along the Orontes River. If this is the Hammath of Naphtali, then it is due north from Judah, but still within Israel, of course. In any case, Hammath (or, Hamath) appears to be a place and not a person. However, what is difficult to determine is whether Hammath (a person for whom the city was named) or the Kenites are properly the father of the house of Rechab. You see, Rechab is more famous than the other names in this passage, being found in several places throughout Scripture. The Rechabites were a very ascetic group—we might want to compare them to the Amish. They did not drink wine, they did not build houses, they did not sow seed (Jer. 35:5–10). Footnote We will cover this group in more detail when we get to 2Kings 10.

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