1Chronicles 4

1Chronicles 4:1–43

Other Lines of Judah/Line of Simeon

Outline of Chapter 4:

       vv.    1–20      The line of Judah through Perez

       vv.   21–23      The line of Judah through Shelah

       vv.   24–43      The line of Simeon


               Intro        Outline of the Family of Judah

       v.     4:1          The Sons of Judah

       v.     4:13        Which Kenaz and Othniel are Listed in Chronicles?

       v.     4:13        Just Who are the Kenizzites?

       v.     4:15        The Caleb’s of Scripture

       v.     4:24        Differences in the Names of the Sons of Simeon

       v.     4:25        The Sons of Simeon

Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To









I ntroduction: It may occur to you that we have covered the line of man from Adam to Abraham; we have followed the basic lines of the sons of Abraham; and in the previous chapter, we have followed the line of David. You would think that would be enough. However, in 1Chron. 4, we will follow first the other diversions in the line of Judah, followed by a further study of the line of Simeon. Unlike previous chapters, very few of these lines have parallel passages. Most of the names in this chapter we will hear one time. On the other hand, there are a number of places named, and most of them we have heard about before. We have the formula and _____ was the father of [name of a city] repeated throughout (vv. 3–5, 11–12, 14, 17–19, 21); what is meant is that person’s family or descendants were founders of that particular city or hamlet. When Israel left Egypt and took the Land of Promise, they burned many of the cities to the ground and rebuilt them. These would be the men or the families of the men who founded these various cities.

What you would expect is that the line of David would be better known and more often studied. Furthermore, since the king was to come out of the line of David, the lineage obviously had to be known—it was almost as well-known to the man on the street as his own lineage. Therefore, the manuscripts for the previous chapter were generally fairly accurate and the mistakes and problems few, if carefully examined. However, this chapter, just like 1Chron. 2, would logically be filled with errors (relatively speaking). It is a less interesting fork in the line of Judah, and therefore, less often studied. Therefore, although we will try to place these people in the line of Judah, there will be more instances than not where we cannot seem to accurately place them. As you realize, very few believers every spend any amount of time actually exploring these lines; and often, when they do, they just pick and choose what to study, doing that in a superficial manner.

Now, when one first encounters all of these names, they appear to be a random listing of various Hebrews, and, although we are certain they are from the tribe of Judah, we don’t know much else about their relationship to one another. However, what appears to be the case is that we are getting the names of many of the men from the generation of promise, and the cities that they founded. In addition to this, we often find their fathers (from gen X) listed as well. This would be important as 1Chronicles was probably composed after the return of the dispersed population of Judah. These would be cities that the Judæans populated after their return from exile, and this gives us a brief background on the original founders; which allows the returning Jews to be able to determine what land belongs to them. Regardless of what occurs over a period of time, during the Year of Jubilee, the land which had been bought and sold was to return to the family of the original owners. A record like this, recorded in Scripture, allows for an individual to establish a claim on his land (not that this was ever done). Footnote

Outline of the Records of the Family of Judah


Line Followed

Now, in going through these records, it many seems as though they are haphazardly thrown together. There seem to be a bunch of names listed, with some lines followed and some ignored. Actually, the chronicler has an overall outline which he carefully follows for these first 4½ chapters. Footnote

1Chron. 2:3

Shelah, son of Judah

1Chron. 2:4–8

Perez, son of Judah

1Chron. 2:9–3:24

Hezron ben Perez, son of Judah

1Chron. 4:21–23

Shelah, son of Judah

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Return to the Chart Index

This outline clearly shows the centrality and importance of the line of Hezron, which leads to the dynasty of David and his descendants, which includes Christ Jesus, the King of Israel Who will rule forever.

Now, not many people have put a lot of time and effort in studying these chapters, and therefore, we have very few flaky theories because we simply have very few theories. However, one theologian, Bertheau, hypothesized that the ancestors of Judah could be broken down into exactly twelve families, making some sort of a nice, symmetric spiral from the twelve tribes of Israel. Because there is no indication that we have observed the entire line of Judah and because what we have observed cannot be easily broken down into twelve families or clans means that his theory is just so much thin air. Footnote

This chapter breaks down into three parts. Section one seems to deal with the line of Judah through Perez. Since the relationships are never outright stated, it appears as though we follow this line all the way through Hezron, Caleb, Hur and Shobal, and then list the descendants of Shobal. Anyway, that is what appears to be the case from the first couple verses. However, that is a long ways to follow a line before naming many of the miscellaneous descendants from that line. When we pick up with one of Judah’s other sons, Shelah, in v. 21, it indicates to us that the previous groups were all sons of Judah through Perez at least. Whether they were in other branches of Perez’s line or whether they followed the line in v. 1 is impossible to determine. What may be the simplest explanation for this is that the author had no records which accurately traced the men named in this chapter along any specific line of Judah beyond Perez.

Part two deals with the descendants of Judah through Shelah, which is a much smaller line of individuals.

Finally, in part three, just as we find in the distribution of land, Simeon’s line is mentioned next. It almost seems to be a subset of the line of Judah, although it is not. We have actually very few descendants even mentioned, which, for many of you, will be quite a relief; and there is actually a little narrative at the end of this chapter. In a sense, as we leave the genealogy and venture into narrative, vv. 38–43 are almost a separate section; however, v. 38 is tied too closely to v. 37 to really separate them.


The Line of Judah Through Perez

Slavishly literal:


Moderately literal:

Sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron and Carmi and Hur and Shobal.



The notable descendants of Judah were Hezron, Caleb, Hur and Shobal.

As we have noted throughout, sons of simply means descendants of. Judah had five sons: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah. So this will be easiest to examine the Chart of the Sons of Judah first.

The Sons of Judah

1.    Er and Onan, (by Bath-shua, the Canaanitess) both of whom passed away before fathering any children (1Chron. 2:3)

2.    Shelah (who should have married Tamar, the widow of Er; or, at least, raised up one child by her—1Chron. 2:3); he was also a son of Bath-shua (1Chron. 4:21)

       a.    Er (1Chron. 4:21)

               i.      Lecah (1Chron. 4:21)

               ii.     Laadah (1Chron. 4:21)

                       (1)   Mareshah (1Chron. 4:21)

                       (2)   Families of the house of the linen workers at Beth-ashbea (1Chron. 4:21)

                       (3)   Jokim (1Chron. 4:22)

                       (4)   Men of Cozeba (1Chron. 4:22)

                       (5)   Joash and Saraph (apparently, one ruled in Moab and the other in Jashubi-lehem) (1Chron. 4:22)

3.    Perez (twin of Zerah by Tamar—1Chron. 2:4) (note: we will only follow the line of Perez in detail; the line of Zerah will only be followed for a couple of generations) (1Chron. 4:1)

       a.    Hezron (1Chron. 2:5 4:1)

               i.      Jerahmeel (1Chron. 2:9)

                       (1)   Ram (1Chron. 2:25)

                               (a)   Maaz, Jamin and Eker (1Chron. 2:27)

                       (2)   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 Ahijah—1Chron. 2:25)

                       (3)   By his second wife, Atarah: Onam (1Chron. 2:26)

                               (a)   Shammai (1Chron. 2:28)

                                      (i)    Nadab (1Chron. 2:28), who sired Seled (who died without sons) and Appaim (1Chron. 2:30) ➔ Ishi ➔ Sheshan (who had no sons; only daughters—1Chron. 2:34–35)

                                              1)    Ahlai (1Chron. 2:31, 34–35); one explanation is that Ahlai was the daughter of Sheshan, who, by Sheshan’s Egyptian slave Jarha, bore Attai (1Chron. 2:34–35) ➔ Nathan ➔ Zabad ➔ Ephlal ➔ Obed ➔ Jehu ➔ Azariah ➔ Helez ➔ Eleasah ➔ Sismai ➔ Shallum ➔ Jekamiah ➔ Elishama (1Chron. 2:36–41)

                                      (ii)   Abishur (1Chron. 2:28)

                                              1)    By wife, Abihail: Ahban and Molid (1Chron. 2:29)

                               (b)   Jada (1Chron. 2:28)

                                      (i)    Jether (died without sons) and Jonathan (1Chron. 2:32) (sons of Jonathan: Peleth and Zaza—1Chron. 2:33)

               ii.     Chelubai (1Chron. 2:2:9) (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. He is probably mistakenly called Carmi in 1Chron. 4:1

                       (1)   Unnamed in 1Chron. 2:18, who is probably Mesha (as Mesha is called his firstborn) (1Chron. 2:43) by Azubah. Mesha is the father (or, founder) of Ziph* (1Chron. 2:42)

                       (2)   Mareshah* (many think Mesha = Mareshah) (1Chron. 2:42), 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.

                               (a)   Hebron* (or, Abi-Hebron) (1Chron. 2:42)

                                      (i)    Korah, Tappuah*, Rekem* (1Chron. 2:43)

                                      (ii)   Shema* (1Chron. 2:43) ➔ Raham ➔ Jorkeam* ➔ Rekem* ➔Shammai* ➔ Maon* ➔ Bethzur* (1Chron. 2:44–45)

                       (3)   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—1Chron. 2:18)

                       (4)   Hur (firstborn of Ephrath, wife of Caleb, whom he married after Azubah died—1Chron. 2:19 4:1)

                               (a)   Shobal (founder of Kiriath-jearim, father of Haroeh and half of Menuhoth) (1Chron. 2:50, 52 4:1)

                                      (i)    The families of Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites and the Mishraites (from which came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites) (1Chron. 2:53)

                                      (ii)   Reaiah (who is possibly equivalent to Haroeh) ➔ JahathAhumai and Lahad apparently, these people made up the families living in Zorah (1Chron. 4:2)

                               (b)   Exact origins of the following are unknown; they are possibly descendants of Perez through Hezron, then Caleb, then Hur (1Chron. 4:1)

                                      (i)    Jezreel, Ishma, Idbash and Hazzelelponi, founders of Etam (1Chron. 4:3) and probably descendants of Hur (1Chron. 4:4), although it is not clear through whom (we might guess through the line above).

                                      (ii)   Penuel (founder of Gedor) and Ezer (founder of Hushah) (1Chron. 4:4); clearly said to be descendants of Hur; it is less clear as through whom

                                      (iii)   And Koz sired Anub, the Zobebah, the families of Aharhel, son of Harum (it is very unclear as to where this people fit into this line) 1Chron. 4:8

                                      (iv)  Jabez (1Chron. 4:910)

                                      (v)   Chelub (brother of Shuhah) ➔ MehirEshtonBethrapha, Paseah and Tehinnah (who sired Irnahash); these men were the founders of Recah (wherever that was) 1Chron. 4:11–12

                                      (vi)  Kenaz (1Chron. 4:13)

                                              1)    Othniel (1Chron. 4:13)

                                                      a)    Hathath (1Chron. 4:13)

                                                      b)    and possibly MeonothaiOphrah (1Chron. 4:1314)

                                              2)    Seraiah (1Chron. 4:13)JoabGeharashim (1Chron. 4:14)

                                      (vii)  Caleb ben Jephunneh (1Chron. 4:15)

                                              1)    Ir (1Chron. 4:15)

                                              2)    Elah (1Chron. 4:15)

                                                      a)    Kenaz (1Chron. 4:15)

                                              3)    Naam (1Chron. 4:15)

                                      (viii) JehallelelZiph, Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel (1Chron. 4:16)

                                      (ix)  Ezrah (1Chron. 4:17–18)

                                              1)    Jether (1Chron. 4:17–18)

                                              2)    Mered (1Chron. 4:17–18)

                                                      a)    Miriam, Shammai, Ishbah (founder of Eshtemoa) (their mother was Bithia, a daughter of Pharaoh) (1Chron. 4:17–18)

                                                      b)    Jered (founder of Gedor), Heber (founder of Soco) and Jekuthiel (founder of Zanoah) (all sons of Mered’s Jewish wife) (1Chron. 4:17–18)

                                              3)    Epher and Jalon (1Chron. 4:17–18)

                                      (x)   Hodiah, father of the Garmites and the Maacathites (1Chron. 4:19).

                                      (xi)  Shimon, father of Amnon, Rinnah ben Hannan and Tilon (1Chron. 4:20)

                                      (xii)  Ishi, father of Zoheth and Ben-zoheth (1Chron. 4:20)

                               (c)   Salma, the father of Bethlehem and Hareph (the father of Beth-gader) (1Chron. 2:51, 54), the Netophathites, Atroth (of the house of Joab), the other half of the Manahathites, the Zorites (1Chron. 2:54), 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 (1Chron. 2:55)

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

                       (5)   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—1Chron. 2:24)

                               (a)   Tekoa (probably a city rather than an ancestor or son—1Chron. 2:24) (1Chron. 4:5)

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

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

                       (6)   By mistress Ephah: Haran (father of Gazez) and Moza (1Chron. 2:46)

                       (7)   By mistress Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph (1Chron. 2:47)

                       (8)   By mistress Maacah: Sheber, Tirhanah, Shaaph (father of Madmannah) and Sheva (father of Machbenah and Gibea), and Achsah (his daughter by Maacah) (1Chron. 2:48–49)

               iii.    Ram (1Chron. 2:9) ➔ Aminadab ➔ Nahshon (a prince of the sons of Judah) ➔ Salma (or, Salmon) ➔ Boaz ➔ Obed ➔ Jesse (1Chron. 2:10–12)

                       (1)   Eliab, Abinadab, Shimea, (1Chron. 2:2:13), Nethanel, Raddai, Ozem, David (1Chron. 2:14–15)

                       (2)   Zeruiah (David’s sister) (1Chron. 2:16a)

                               (a)   Abishai, Joab, Asahel (their father is never named). Abishai and Joab are two of the truly great leaders behind David (1Chron. 2:16b)

                       (3)   Abigail (sister) who married Jether, the Ishmaelite (1Chron. 2:16a, 17)

                               (a)   Amasa, who fought against and for David, as well as with and against his cousins, Abishai and Joab (1Chron. 2:17)

               iv.    Segub (by a daughter of Machir when Hezron was 60—1Chron. 2:21)

                       (1)   Jair, the one who had 23 cities in Gilead (1Chron. 2:22)

               v.     Hamul (1Chron. 2:5)

4.    Zerah (twin of Perez) (1Chron. 2:4)

       a.    Zimri, Heman, Calcol and Dara (1Chron. 2:6)

               i.      Zabdi ➔ Carmi (1Chron. 4:1; which is probably an early scribal error) ➔ Achan (Achor), the troubler of Israel (Joshua 7:1 1Chron. 2:7)

       b.    Ethan (1Chron. 2:6)

               i.      Azariah (1Chron. 2:8)

Note:      The names in boldface occur in this chapter.

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One of Judah’s actual sons was Perez, one of the twins born to him by Tamar. Perez had a son, Hezron, whose line we followed in 1Chron. 2 (for all intents and purposes, his was the primary line followed in 1Chron. 2). Perez had a twin brother, Zerah, who was probably an ancestor of Carmi. Footnote Hur was a son of Caleb, who was a son of Hezron. Now, if you will examine the chart, Judah was the father of Perez, who was the father of Hezron who was the father of Caleb, who was the father of Hur, who was the father of Shobal. So, the first problem with this verse, is that we would expect to have Caleb where we find the name Carmi. Don’t misunderstand me here: this is not a contradiction, because this verse does not say that Carmi is the son of Hezron, nor does it say that Carmi is the father of Hur—either of those statements would be a contradiction. If you are going to give a laundry list of some of Judah’s descendants, find; but this appears to be, although so stated, a list of consecutive descendants. So, the first thing that I check out is the Septuagint—it’s Charmi; and only the first two letters are the same as Chaleb (the Greek transliteration). And there are no manuscripts or codices which apparently disagree. In the Hebrew, Caleb is kâlêbv (ב̤לָ) [pronounced kaw-LABV], which is transliterated Caleb and means dog. Strong’s #3612 BDB #477. Carmi is karemîy (י.מ ר-) [pronounced kahre-MEE], which is simply transliterated Carmi. Strong’s #3756 BDB #501. In the original text, there were no vowel points—Caleb, followed by the wâw conjunction, would look very similar to Carmi. My personal opinion is that this verse got corrupted very early on and that we should find Caleb’s name here instead of Carmi’s. Others who have noticed this and made the same suggestion: the editors of the NKJV, Martin Selman (an author for the Tyndale Old Testament commentaries), and the NIV Study Bible notes. Now, even if I am wrong, there is no contradiction here. However, Caleb (not the general under Moses, but the son of Hezron) would be the logical name to find here.

And Reaiah ben Shobal, fathered Jahath and Jahath fathered Ahumai and Lahad—these [were] families of Zorathites.



And Reaiah, a son of Shobal, sired Jahath and Jahath sired Ahumai and Lahad—these [were] families of Zorathites.

Back in 1Chron. 2:50–52, we have the Shobal is the father of Kiriath-jearim and possibly Salma (the reading there is somewhat confusing); as well as Haroeh and possibly others. However, Reaiah is not mentioned in 1Chron. 2. It is suggested that he might be equivalent to Haroeh of 1Chron. 2:52. Haroeh’s line is not followed out at all in 2Chron. 2. His son (or, Reaiah’s son), Jahath, is found only here, as are his sons, Ahumai and Lahad. Now, although you might think that there would be some relationship between the Zorathites mentioned here and Zerah, who is the twin of Perez (and from whom Carmi appears to be descended), the words are actually quite different in the Hebrew—in fact, more so than are Carmi and Caleb. Zorah was a city which belonged to the tribe of Dan (Joshua 19:41 Judges 13:2 18:2), which began as originally as a city of Judah’s (Joshua 15:33). Because of its location, on the border of Judah and Dan, it eventually became the home to Danites (e.g., Samson’s father—Judges 13:2) and to Judahites (our passage). When Dan moved north, it appears as though Judah eventually took control of the city (Dan moved northward because of the Amorites who lived in that area—Judges 1:34–35 18:1).

And these a father [or, sons] of Etam: Jezreel and Ishma and Idbash and a name of their sister, Hazzelelponi.



These were the sons of the founder of the city of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, Idbash and their sister, Hazzelelponi;

With v. 3, we have a change of pace. We will list genealogical line after genealogical line with no ancestors named before and just a few after. This is very explainable. At one point in history, Joseph, son of Jacob, was a member of royalty in Egypt. He brought his entire family to Egypt and they lived under his auspices. They were not necessarily royalty, but they had high positions and would have been well-respected by association to Joseph. These lines would have been followed fairly carefully. However, after a few generations, Joseph died and a pharaoh arose in Egypt who did not know Joseph and did not care much for all of these Jews (Semitic non-Egyptians) who were everywhere; so he put them into slavery. At this point, the lines of descent would become blurred. Some lines would be followed, but many people, in their despair in Egyptian slavery, would no longer be able to keep track of their ancestors and descendants. It is not unreasonable to suppose that the Egyptians made it difficult for them to keep records. Therefore, what we should expect, in most cases, is for a careful lines of descent to exist for the first couple of generations of Jews in Egypt; then for the descent to become somewhat murky or nonexistent; and then for the lines to pick up again at the exodus (or one or two generations before, as those of the exodus generation would know the names of their parents, grandparents and perhaps even their great grandparents. This is exactly what we have. In fact, had we, say, 50 essentially unbroken generational lines listed in Chronicles, from Jacob to the exodus generation and beyond, then we should be suspicious. That would be an unreasonable thing to expect. What we have is exactly what we should expect.

There are several different readings given for the beginning of this verse: And these, a father of Etam; or, And these, sons of Etam. However, what appears to be the correct rendering is And these [were] the sons of the father [i.e., founder or chief] of Etam. I am thinking, when some scribes read, And these the sons of the father of Etam, they were disconcerted and left out one or the other.

Etam is somewhat of a mystery here. We don’t know if this is a person or a place—in Joshua 15:59, in the Greek Septuagint, we find this city as one of the cities of Judah. It is also mentioned in 2Chron. 11:6 and located between Bethlehem and Tekoa. In this passage, it may refer to a person and may refer to the city of Etam—the names which follow are those who, with their families and descendants, originally populated the city. If Jezreel is a person, then he is named here only. In the Hebrew, it reads these, a father of Etam; in the Septuagint, it reads: the sons of Ætam. There is a Judæan city Jezreel, which is not that far from Etam (Joshua 15:56). The more famous city of Jezreel, the one found most often in Scripture, is located in Issachar near Mount Gilboa. This verse, of course, would make more sense if this were the name of a person. Ishma, Idbash and Hazzelelponi are found only here in this passage. We can infer that they are in the family of Judah, from their location here in Scripture, and probably descendants of Hur (see v. 4); however, where in that line they belong is not clear.

And Penuel, a father of Gedor; and Ezer, a father of Hushah—these, sons of Hur, firstborn of Ephrathah, father of Bethlehem.



and Penuel, the founder of Gedor; and Ezer, the founder of Hushah—all of these were the sons of Hur, the founder of Bethlehem and the firstborn of Ephrathah.

This appears to be a continuation of the previous verse, making all of these the descendants of Hur, who was the son of Ephrathah and Caleb (the other Caleb—1Chron. 2:19). Gedor is probably the same city found here, in v. 18 (but not in v. 39), and being founded by more than one family (here, Penuel, and in v. 18, Jered). Gedor is also mentioned in the inheritance of Judah (Joshua 15:58). Hushah is unknown apart from this passage—we don’t even know if this is a person or a city. Penuel and Ezer are both mentioned here only (Penuel is not the same as the city of Gen. 32:31). Hur is called here the father of Bethlehem; his son, Salma is called the father of Bethlehem in 1Chron. 2:51. Father, in this sense, is obviously not a father-son relationship, but may simply indicate a founder, civil leader or military leader. These mentioned in vv. 3–4 are all descendants and not actually sons of Hur.

And to Ashhur, father of Tekoa, were two women: Helah and Naarah;



And Ashhur, the founder of Tekoa, had two wives: Helah and Naarah.

With this mention, we are back in the game. We know where we are. Ashhur was either a son of Caleb or of Hezron (you may recall that this was difficult to determine from the wording of 1Chron. 2:24). This pretty much places everyone else where I have said they belong. Context would allow for Tekoa to be a city, as we interpreted it back in 1Chron. 2:24. Ashhur’s wives are mentioned only in this passage.

And so bore to him, Naarah, Ahuzzam and Hepher and Temeni and Haahashtari—these, sons of Naarah.



Naarah gave birth to the sons Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temanite and Ahashtarite.

The sons of Ashhur and Naarah are mentioned only here. It is possible that Temeni and Haahashtari are both gentilic adjective, and should be rendered Temanite and Ahashtarite. The latter is only found here; the former would not be equivalent to the Temanites who are descended from Esau (Gen. 36:11 1Chron. 1:36).

And sons of Helah: Zereth, Izhar [or, Zohar] and Ethnan.



Helah bore Naarah the sons Zereth, Izhar and Ethnan.

The sons of Helah are mentioned only in this verse. Ethnan is sometimes connected to the city of Ithnan, a city in southern Judah (Joshua 15:23).

And Koz fathered Anub and the Zobebah and families of Aharhel ben Harum.



And Koz sired Anub, the Zobebah, the families of Aharhel, son of Harum.

With this verse, we are lost again. We can reasonably assume that we are still in the family of Judah, but it is uncertain how far down the line we have come. Koz is found only here, and has starred in several television shows. His descendants are found only here. Instead of Aharhel, the Septuagint reads, brother of Rechab. Unfortunately, there was so much uncertainty with the placement of Rechab in 1Chron. 2:55, that, even if we find him here, we still cannot place these people correctly in the line of Judah. The men (and groups?) mentioned in this verse are found nowhere else in Scripture.

And so was Jabez more honorable than his brothers and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore (him) in pain.”



Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; his mother called him Jabez because she said, “I gave birth to him in pain.”


We had the name Jabez in 1Chron. 2:55, where it is called a city where the families of the scribes lived (and recall that we had trouble placing them properly in the line of Judah as well). ZPEB suggests that the name Zobebah, from the previous verse, is a corruption of Jabez. Zobebah, in the Hebrew, is tsôbbvâh (הָב̤בֹצ) [pronounced tsoh-vay-VAW], which is transliterated Zobebah. Strong’s #6637 BDB #839. Jabez is ya׳ebvêts (ץ̤ ע-י) [pronounced yahģ-VAYTZ], which is poorly transliterated Jabez. Strong’s #3258 BDB #716. These words are obviously pretty far apart; furthermore, apart from their relative location in Scripture, we have no other reason to tie these words together. The name Jabez, by the way, is similar to the Hebrew word for pain. Barnes: It is remarkable that Jabez should be introduced without description...as if a well-known personage. We can only suppose that he was known to those for whom Chronicles was written, either by tradition, or by writings which have perished. Footnote

Now, you may wonder what’s the deal? with the insertion of this historical information; however, we have several instances of ancient, secular genealogical records from the eastern world wherein are short historical notes. Footnote We certainly find these in other Biblical genealogies (e.g., Gen. 4:18–24 10:8–12 1Chron. 4:39–43).

And so called Jabez to a God of Israel to say, “If a blessing You would bless me and enlarge my border and would be Your hand unto me and You would do from harm to not hurt me.” And so gave God what he asked.



And Jabez had called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh, that you would bless me, and enlarge my order, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm to not hurt me!” And God granted him his request.

And suddenly, out of nowhere, we have some narrative. It appears as though Jabez must be known to the readers, as there is little by way of introduction; we cannot associate him with any of the previous people named and he is not found elsewhere in Scripture. This passage seems almost inserted; however, it is found in the Septuagint and in the Massoretic text.

Now, the prayer of Jabez seems stilted and unformed. What two of my sources suggest (Keil and Delitzsch and I forget who else), is that this was a prayer which was never completed. Jabez almost completed the prayer, and God answered it as he prayed. Keil and Delitzsch further suggest that his life became a living contradiction of his name—he was conceived in pain or was in pain himself—prayed, and immediately he became a living contradiction to his own name.

And Chelub brother of Shuhah fathered Mehir; he [was] a father of Eshton; and Eshton fathered Bethrapha [or, the house of Repha] and Paseah and Tehinnah, father of Irnahash [or, the city of Nahash]—these, men of Recah.



Chelub, the brother of Shuhah, sired Mehir, who was the ancestor of Eshton; Eshton sired Bethrapha, Paseah and Tehinnah, who sired Irnahash—these were the founders of Recah.

Chelub may be a form of Caleb (the spelling is fairly similar, differing in one letter and in vowel points); furthermore, it is not distinguished in spelling from Caleb in some versions of the Septuagint. However, there is enough of this lineage to indicate that this man is not the same as the Caleb in 1Chron. 2 and he is not the same as Caleb ben Jephunneh, the better known of the Biblical Caleb’s. He might know the answer to who’s your daddy? but we don’t. His brother, Shuhah, is named only here. Chelub’s son, Mehir, is found only here, as is his descendant Eshton. The others on this list are also unknown to us, apart from this verse. We do not even know anything about the city of Recah, which means we don’t even have a clue as to the time period that these men lived in. Their exact nationality is also in question, because, although they are in the line of Judah here, the names are unusual. You may recall that Judah married a Canaanitess, Bath-shua (Gen. 38:2 1Chron. 2:3). It has been suggested that this is a tribe of Canaanites who are related to the tribe of Judah through Bath-shua. Footnote

And sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah; and sons of Othniel: Hathath [and Meonothai];



The sons of Kenaz included Othniel and Seraiah; Othniel’s sons were Hathath [and Meonothai].

With Kenaz and Othniel, we open up quite the can of worms. There is a father-son, Kenaz-Othniel, in Judges 3:7–11, where Kenaz is the younger brother of Caleb. There is another Kenaz, grandson of Caleb, in v. 15 of this chapter—who is definitely a different Kenaz. This gives us two possibilities: (1) the Kenaz here is an early ancestor of Caleb (although the line is never completed); or, (2) the Kenaz here is the younger brother of Caleb. We even have the mistaken notion that Caleb is the brother of Othniel (not necessarily the one here, but the Othniel of Joshua 15:17 Judges 3:9, 11), which would make him the son of Kenaz. Footnote

Kenaz here, as well as his son, Othniel, are early ancestors of Caleb

Kenaz here is Caleb’s younger brother and Othniel is his famous nephew

Arguments for:

Arguments for:

It makes most sense in Jewish writings to list the oldest ancestor first and then work down to the more recent (all of the genealogies work this way, except for Luke’s, who is a Gentile)

We would expect Othniel, because he is a famous deliverer of Israel, to be mentioned in this line of Judah.

It would be reasonable to expect Kenaz and Othniel to be common family names, if the founders of these families were so named.

Arguments against:

Arguments against:

How could Othniel, a deliverer of Israel in her time of need, be ignored in this genealogical line, whereas, several unknown men are mentioned?

Since Caleb ben Jephunneh is a well-known hero of Israel, listing his younger brother first, even though his younger brother was a deliverer, is insulting.

Other judges and deliverers are not mentioned in 1Chron. 1–9. There appear to be no lines followed through the slavery to Egypt, the period of the judges (with the exception of Boaz, who is in the line of Christ) and the time of dispersion. Samson is not to be found in these chapters; nor is Deborah, Barak, Gideon or Jephthah.

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No matter which side is taken, there are no serious problems which result. I personally believe, for the reasons listed, that Kenaz and Othniel are the early progenitors of Caleb and his family, as Caleb’s father, Jephunneh, is often called a Kenizzite (Num. 32:12 Joshua 14:6, 14). Now, we have another possible problem—this could result in two or three different tribes or families called Kenizzites. As you can see, these genealogies are not easy.

The Three Different Kenizzites

The alien people whose land God promised of the Israelites (Gen. 15:19)

Those descended from Esau through Eliphaz (Gen. 36:11 1Chron. 1:36)

A family of Judahites whose descendants include Caleb ben Jephunneh (1Chron. 4:13)

Qenizzîy (י. ̣נ ) [pronounced keni-ZEE], and is transliterated Kenizzite. Gen. 15:19. Strong’s #7074 BDB #889.

Qenaz (ז-נ ק) [pronounced keNAHZ], transliterated Kenaz. Scripture: Gen. 36:11, 15, 42 1Chron. 1:36, 53. Strong’s #7073 BDB #889.

Qenaz (ז-נ ק) [pronounced keNAHZ], transliterated Kenaz. Scripture: Joshua 15:17 Judges 1:13 3:9, 11. Strong’s #7073 BDB #889. Qenizzîy (י. ̣נ ) [pronounced keni-ZEE], transliterated Kenizzite. Num. 32:12 Joshua 14:6, 14. Strong’s #7074 BDB #889.

When God had promised Abraham a son (which appears to have occurred prior to Hagar bearing Abraham Esau), God also promised a great deal of land of Abraham; this included the land of the Kenite, the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite.

Esau, who was born of Abraham and Hagar, was sent away to Seir, south of the Dead Sea. Eliphaz was apparently his first son, and one of the sons of Eliphaz was Kenaz.

The Kenaz name in Joshua 15:17 and Judges 1:13 3:9 is probably the ancestor of both Caleb and younger brother Othniel. This is the most likely meaning (however, see below).

Other Men Named Kenaz

Kenaz, father of Othniel

Kenaz, brother of Caleb?

Kenaz, the grandson of Caleb

Qenaz (ז-נ ק) [pronounced keNAHZ], transliterated Kenaz. Scripture: 1Chron. 4:13 Strong’s #7073 BDB #889.

Qenaz (ז-נ ק) [pronounced keNAHZ], transliterated Kenaz. Scripture: Joshua 15:17 Judges 1:13 3:9 Strong’s #7073 BDB #889.

Qenaz (ז-נ ק) [pronounced keNAHZ], transliterated Kenaz. Scripture: 1Chron. 4:15 Strong’s #7073 BDB #889.

Although this appears to be the Kenaz from Joshua 15:17 and Judges 1:13 3:9, that does not necessarily have to be the case.

In these passages, we have Othniel, called the son of Kenaz, the (younger) brother of Caleb. The way this reads, Kenaz could either be the mutual father of both Othniel and Caleb or he could be the younger brother of Caleb.

The sons (or, descendants) of Caleb ben Jephunneh include Elah, whose descendant was Kenaz. He is not equivalent to any of the other Kenaz’s, although he is related.

Addendum: It might be worthwhile to note that Caleb offered his daughter (Achsah) to Othniel. The most likely scenario is that she was Othniel’s niece. Now, if the Kenaz named in these passages were Caleb’s brother, then Achsah would have been the first cousin of Othniel.

Conclusions: there is nothing to indicate that the descendants of Esau moved back into the land; and the naming of the Kenizzites by God as one of the groups in the land in Gen. 15:19 occurred prior to Esau’s birth. Although it is possible that the Kenizzites were named prophetically in that passage, that is unlikely. Footnote This would mean that there were gentiles of unknown origin known as Kenizzites living in the land of Canaan during the time that Abraham was childless (compare Gen. 15:15:1–5, 18–21). My own personal thoughts on this matter are that, through some intermingling of the some member of the tribe of Judah with a Kenizzite produced the family of Caleb. A second, equally reasonable theory is that some Kenizzites were adopted as a part of Israel—perhaps some of those from the mixed multitude—and this is Caleb’s origin. He apparently had his closest affiliations with the tribe of Judah, probably by marrying a woman from that tribe. Under Moses, who, despite the Law, seemed to be color and racial-blind in his dealings, Caleb would be taken on the basis of his character. I do not recall Caleb being specifically called a Judahite; however, he is frequently called a Kenizzite and a son of Kenaz. In our passage, Kenaz seems to pop out of nowhere, which, unfortunately, appears to be the rule rather than the exception. Caleb is mentioned soon thereafter, but in not in such a way as to clearly connect the two.

To sum up where we are so far: we have a father Kenaz and a son Othniel mentioned in this verse. They are therefore (1) early progenitors of the family that Caleb is in; (2) they are the ancestor and brother, respectively, of Caleb; (3) they are the brother and nephew, respectively, of Caleb; or, (4) they are none of these things. Nice to get that settled once and for all.

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There are several Seraiah’s in Scripture—none of them can be reasonably identified with this particular one; Hathath, apart from being known for some of his ideas, is found nowhere else in Scripture. Meonothai is found in some of the Septuagint manuscripts as well as in the Latin Vulgate. It is not in my Septuagint β.

And Meonothai fathered Ophrah and Seraiah fathered Joab, father of Ge-harashim, for craftsmen they were.



And Meonothai sired Ophrah and Seraiah sired Joab, founder of Ge-harashim, for craftsmen they were.

Since we find Seraiah in this verse, it makes sense that Meonothai was also in the previous verse. This particular Ophrah and Joab are found in this verse only. Ge-harashim means valley of craftsmen and is probably to be identified with the place of the same name in Neh. 11:35.

This is not Joab, the nephew of David, the famous general in David’s army.

And sons of Caleb ben Jephunneh: Iru, Elah and Naam and sons of Elah and Kenaz [or, and sons of Elah were...these were the sons of Kenaz].



The descendants of Caleb (son of Jephunneh) were Ir, Elah, Naam, and the son of Elah was Kenaz.

We hear less about Caleb’s sons than we would think. Iru may be actually Ir, which is then followed by a wâw conjunction. Ir, Elah and Naam are found only here. The Massoretic text reads: and sons of Elah and Kenaz, whereas, the Greek text is: and sons of Elah, Kenez. The addition of the wâw conjunction was probably a copyist’s error. Because of the error here, some have interpreted this as being a summation verse—i.e., these are the sons of Kenaz. Please understand that in order to make sense out of the end of v. 15, something has to be changed. The easiest change is dropping the copula after Elah. The more difficult is dropping out Elah and inserting these are. In terms of structure, this is in line with vv. 4, 6 and 11; however, it involves changing the both text of the Massorites and of the Septuagint. None of the 20 or so translations which I have interpret this as and these were sons of Kenaz. Two of them (The Modern Reader’s Bible and the NAB) imply that there is text missing at this point. And again let me emphasize, there is no contradiction here—it is simply a textual problem; either interpretation is consistent with the passage. You’re probably sick of hearing about the various Kenaz’s by now.

You may be tired of charts by now, but we need to, once and for all, clearly distinguish the two main Caleb’s referred to in Scripture. For me, the easiest way to see it is in a chart.


Caleb ben Hezron

Caleb ben Jephunneh


This Caleb’s father is Hezron (1Chron. 2:9)

He is continually referred to as son of Jephunneh (Num. 14:30 34:19). He is clearly called a son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite in Num. 32:12 Joshua 14:6, 14.


This particular Caleb was probably born as royalty in Egypt, being not too far removed from Judah (he was Judah’s great grandson).

This is the Caleb who, with Joshua, formed the minority report when Israel should have entered into the land. He is always looked upon as a son of Judah, but his racial background appears mixed (Num. 13:6 Joshua 15:13).


Jerahmeel, Ram (1Chron. 2:9)

it appears as though either Othniel is Caleb’s brother and they are both sons of Kenaz or Kenaz is Caleb’s brother and his nephew is Othniel (Joshua 15:17 Judges 1:13 3:9). This is never clear; I favor the former myself (see the comments below).


Caleb had about 8 wives and mistresses and 20 children (see the chart, Sons of Judah).

He has a daughter, Achsah. Caleb ben Jephunneh’s line is never really followed out.


It is this older Caleb who has the easiest line to follow and document. It is the line of his brother Ram that we follow to Jesus the Christ. His line appears to be followed in Joshua 2:18–24 42–50a.

When Caleb is given land in Judah, it sounds almost as if he is not Judæan himself (Joshua 15:13), however, this is never made absolutely clear. We don’t find his line traced back in any more detail than being the son of Jephunneh, a Kenizzite.


Concerning Caleb and his younger brother or nephew Othniel: Barnes makes some good points concerning their relative ages. We know that near the end of the entrance of Israel into Canaan, Caleb is 85. It is possible that he might have a brother 20 years younger, maybe even 30. So, at the entrance into the land, we have Othniel, if he is Caleb’s brother, at age 55 to 65 taking Caleb’s daughter in marriage. The more likely scenario is that Caleb has a younger brother, Kenaz, who might be 15–20 years younger. Kenaz has a child at, perhaps, age 30, whose name is Othniel. Therefore, at the time that Caleb is 85, Othniel is the more reasonable age of 35–45. This allows for Israel to fall into degeneracy and then for God to place them in subservience to Cushan-rishathaim for eight years, and for Othniel to be at still a reasonable age to prevail over Cushan (see Judges 3:8–9). Finally, Othniel is always referred to as the son of Kenaz and Caleb as the son of Jephunneh; had they the same father, then this would lame to not at least infer it one time when referring to their fathers. Footnote

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In the next five verses, we will have descendants and places named from pre-exilic times, as some of these places are not a part of the province of Judah during restoration period (e.g., Ziph and Eshtemoa). Footnote

And sons of Jehallelel: Ziph and Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel.



And the descendants of Jehallelel were Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel.

We have actually heard of Ziph before in Joshua 15:24 (it is a city in the Negev). Which person Ziph, whether from here or 1Chron. 2:42, gave his name to this city and to the Ziphites is unknown. There is another more famous Ziph in the hill country of Judah mentioned in Joshua 15:55 1Sam. 23:14–15 2Chron. 11:5, 8 Psalm 54:inscription. Jehallelel, Ziphal, Tiria and Asarel are found only in this verse.

And son Footnote of Ezrah: Jether and Mered and Epher and Jalon and so she gave birth [to] Miriam and Shammai and Ishbah, father of Eshtemoa and his woman—Jewish—bore Jered, father of Gedor and Heber, father of Soco and Jekuthiel father of Zanoah; and these, sons of Bithia, daughter of Pharaoh who Mered took.



And sons of Ezrah: Jether and Mered and Epher and Jalon. Mered married Bithiah, a daughter of Pharaoh, and so she gave birth [to] Miriam and Shammai and Ishbah, founder of Eshtemoa. Mered’s Jewish wife bore Jered, founder of Gedor, Heber, founder of Soco, and Jekuthiel, founder of Zanoah.

These two verses are a mess. As presented in the Massoretic text or even in the Septuagint, they make little sense. The only thing worse than a bunch of unknown names is a bunch of unknown names with very unclear relationships. Therefore, we will see what others have done and discuss the text:


CEV                               Ezrah was the father of Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. Mered was married to Bithiah the daughter of the king of Egypt. They had a daughter named Miriam and two sons: Shammai and Ishbah. It was Ishbah who settled the town of Eshtemoa. Mered was also married to a woman from the tribe of Judah, and their sons were Jered, Heber, and Jekuthiel. Jered settled the town of Gedor; Heber settled the town of Soco; and Jekuthiel settled the town of Zanoah.

JPS (Tanakh)                 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. She [footnote: Apparently Bithiah; cƒ. v. 18] conceived and bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah father of Eshtemoa. And his Judahite wife bore Jered father of Gedor, Heber father of Soco, and Jekuthiel father of Zanoah. These were the sons of Bithiah daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married.

NASB                             And the son of Ezrah were Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. (And these are the sons of Bithia, the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took) Footnote and she conceived and bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. And his Jewish wife bore Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah.

Owen's Translation        The sons of Ezrah: Jether and Mered and Epher and Jalon; and she conceived Miriam [direct object and not the subject] and Shammai and Ishbah, the father of Eshtemoa. And his Jewish wife bore Jered [direct object, not the subject] the father of Gedor and Heber, the father of Soco and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah (and these are the sons of Bithia, daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered married).

Now, once we fix the text somewhat, do a bit of rearranging (as did the CEV and even the generally very literal NASB, Footnote as well as others), and recall the fact that the father of can also mean the founder of; then these relationships begin to make sense, and the names become more meaningful than they were before. Footnote The biggest rearrangement which is necessary is the movement of the final sentence in the Massoretic text of v. 18 to near the beginning in v. 17. This accomplishes several things: (1) the she of she gave birth to is identified in the immediate context. (2) The two different wives are immediately differentiated. Waiting till the end of the list of children made little sense. And finally, (3) the sons are enumerated after their mother, which is how things were generally done in ancient world genealogies. Footnote

My guess is that Ezrah was one of the last generation of Israelites to be born free in the family of Judah. Footnote Those named as his sons are really his descendants who were a part of gen X or the generation of promise. One of his descendants, Mered, married a daughter of Pharaoh (which must be one of the great untold stories of the Old Testament). She would have been a member of Pharaoh’s household during the time of the exodus, and she went with the Jews as a part of the mixed multitude, eventually marrying Mered of gen X or of the generation of promise. Footnote Although there is the possibility that she was given in marriage by her father (and pharaohs were known to have given their daughters in marriage to foreigners), her name, Bithiah, means daughter of Jehovah, which is clearly the name of a convert.

Either the descendants (large family groups) of the sons Mered founded these several cities (this is assuming that the sons named were born prior to the time of slavery for Israel) or the individuals and their smaller families founded these several cities (assuming the men named were a part of the generation of promise, the younger of the two exodus generations).

Ezrah, of course, is not the Ezra of the book of the same name; Ezra is a priest whose lineage dates back to Aaron. We hear of this Ezrah only in this verse. Although there are several Jether’s, two Miriam’s, three Shammai’s in the Old Testament; these particular descendants’ names occur only here. The rest of these names—Epher, Jalon, Ishbah—occur only here.

Ishbah was a founder of the Judæan city of Eshtemoa (probably equivalent to Eshtemoh in Joshua 15:50) which was located in the souther hill country of Judah. This land was given over to the Levites as a Levitical city in Joshua 21:14 (where it is spelled Eshtemoa). Like the various Levitical cities, Eshtemoa belonged to Judah, but was populated in part by Levites, who were allowed to establish residences there (the Levites did not, however, own the land).

Jered is named only in this verse, and as the founder of Gedor, a city in the hill country of Judah near Hebron (Joshua 15:58). It appears to be co-founded by Jered and Penuel (1Chron. 4:4) and it could be identical to the city named in 1Chron. 12:7, where it is a Benjamite city (Judah and Benjamin are adjacent tribes and the exchange of control of cities and the mutual control of cities seems to have been a normal, albeit occasional, occurrence). Footnote

Although there are several Heber’s in Scripture, this particular one is named only here as the founder of the city of Soco (which is variously spelled Socco, Socho, Socoh, etc.). There appear to be two three different Soco’s, and this would have to be a reference to one of two of these cities: either the Soco in the lowland of Judah (Joshua 15:35) or the Soco in the hill country (Joshua 15:48). This latter Soco is perhaps found in the southernmost district of the hill country of Judah Footnote and mentioned several times in Scripture. You no doubt recall the challenge of Goliath against Israel; and how David came to the rescue; this took place outside of Soco 1Sam. 17:1). Soco was rebuilt by Rehoboam (the son of Solomon) during part of his reconstruction in order to shore up his defense (2Chron. 11:5–10). During the time of the evil King Ahaz, when he was making treaties with Assyria for protection, the Philistines attack and took over several cities, including Soco (2Chron. 28:16–18).

Jekuthiel, a man known only from this passage, founded the city of Zanoah. There were actually two Zanoah’s in Judah—one in the Shephelah region Footnote (Joshua 15:34) and the other in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:55–57); ZPEB identified the latter with Jekuthiel, suggesting that it is the modern day Khirbet Beit Amra, which is about a mile northwest of Yatta (Juttah), or Khirbet Zanuta, which is about eleven mile southwest of Hebron. Footnote

And sons of a woman of Hodiah, sister of Naham: father of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite.



And the sons of Hodiah by his wife, the sister of Naham, were the Garmites, who founded Keilah, and the Maacathites, who founded Eshtemoa.

Again, this is a passage that we will need to examine in the light of other translations:


CEV                                       A man named Hodiah was married to the sister of Naham. Hodiah’s descendants included Keilah of the Garmite clan and Eshtemoa of the Maacathite clan.

JPS (Tanakh)                        The sons of the wife of Hodiah sister of Naham were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite.

KJV                                        And the sons of his wife Hodiah the sister of Naham, the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maachathite.

NASB                                    And the sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the fathers of Keilah the Garmite and Eshtemoa the Maacathite.

The Septuagint                      And the sons of the wife of Iduia, the sister of Nachaim the father of Keila: Garmi and Esthaemon, the Nochathite.

With reference to the KJV, Hodiah is the man, not the woman. Wife is in the construct state, meaning that it should be translated wife of Hodiah. Naham would therefore be his brother-in-law. Hodiah and Naham are both found only in this verse.

Although ZPEB lists Keilah as an ancestor of Judah, Footnote it is more likely the city of that name found in the Shephelah district of Judah Joshua 15:44). One of the dramas between David and King Saul occurred in Keilah. The Philistines continued to plunder Keilah, so David went there to do something about it. Rather than be grateful to David, Saul sent troops there to capture David. The clan of the Garmites is found only here.

There are quite a number of Maacah’s in Scripture, none of which appear to be related to the Maacathites of this passage. We have already covered Eshtemoa in the previous two verses; obviously, it would have been founded by more than one person.

And sons of Shimon: Amnon and Rinnah ben Hanan Footnote and Tilon. And sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-zoheth.



The descendants of Shimon were Amnon, Rinnah ben Hanan and Tilon. The descendants of Ishi were Zoheth and Ben-zoheth.

In this verse we have several unknown men named, and, this time, no cities to identify with them. Shimon, Amnon, Rinnah, Hanan, Tilon, Ishi, Zoheth and Ben-zoheth are found only here. There are easily ten different Hanan’s in Scripture; this one cannot be clearly identified with any of his name-brethren. There are four different Ishi’s; all from different tribes. In case you are confused, ben means son of; therefore, Rinnah is the son of Hanan and the son of Shimon (no clue as to which would be the older ancestor). Obviously, Ben-zoheth is a descendant of Zoheth, who is a descendant of Ishi.

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The Line of Judah Through Shelah

Sons of Shelah ben Judah: Er, father of Lecah and Laadah, the father of Mareshah and families of a house of workers of the linen for Beth-ashbea;



The descendants of Shelah (the son of Judah) were: Er, the father of both Lecah and Laadah. Laadah was the father of Mareshah and the families of the linen workers at Beth-ashbea;

As you may have guessed, I tend to be rather anal-retentive, even when it comes to lists of names such as these in the first nine chapters of Chronicles. I don’t like it when Bob son of Rex and father of Xenon pops out of nowhere with no clear connection to any particular branch of one of the sons of Jacob. Nor do I care for it much when I cannot cross reference these various men to other places in Scripture. So, as you well might imagine, with this verse, I am a happy camper again. I know exactly where we are and who we are dealing with. Judah, as I have mentioned several times, was the father of at least five sons (there is no reason to think that there were others, by the way): Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah. His first two sons died, Er, right after he married Tamar and Onan, right after he was supposed to raise up by Tamar a descendant in the name of Er (this was the Levirate marriage custom—which later became a part of the Mosaic law—that we discussed in detail in the book of Ruth). The Roman Catholic Church has entirely misunderstood this incident, and determined that sex is designed only for procreation and never for recreation, never properly exegeting Gen. 38. Onan had the responsibility to raise up sons in the name of his deceased older brother. He could have refused, and received an insult from Tamar. However, he agreed to have sex with Tamar, withdrawing at the last minute so that there would be no resulting pregnancy. He simply used Tamar for sex, which further damaged her reputation. She had now been with two men (more than likely) and had not produced any sons. This gave her strikes in the area of morality and in the area of reproduction. It made it very unlikely that she would ever marry or have children. Now, I realize that today, in the United States, Tamar would be considered a virgin and somewhat of a prude. However, those were different times where there was a clear-cut understanding of what was moral and what was not. God struck down Onan for his choice. All of this time, Judah figured the problem was Tamar; he did not see his sons as being wrong. Therefore, even though Shelah would have been the next one to raise up seed in Tamar in the name of his eldest brother Er, his father steered him away from Tamar, although Joseph apparently promised Tamar that Shelah would be her husband. Now, it is never clear to us what part Shelah played in this. It is not clear whether he realized that Judah had promised him to Tamar and wasn’t interested; or if he realized that this was his duty, but since his dad did not seem to expect it, he was not going to push for it either. We know very little about Shelah and the most that we learn about people’s motivation is Judah’s—he was going to tell Tamar one thing, but Shelah some wholly different. The result will be that Shelah will still have a lineage to carry on—it just won’t be that important.

Many of you recall what happened concerning Tamar—she waited for Shelah, not realizing that Judah lacked personal integrity. She waited and waited and Shelah finally got married. Judah, having not seen her for a long time, saw Tamar with a portion of her face covered and mistook her for a prostitute. He propositioned her and she consented. It is not at all clear what was going through her mind, other than this would be Judah raising up seed on behalf of his son, which, although a possible topic for a seedy talk show today, it was not completely abnormal behavior for that time. He was a near relative functioning on behalf of the deceased husband, who just happened to be his son. Tamar received from him some personal items. Later, when it became known that Tamar was pregnant, Judah, still not realizing that he had slept with her, called for her execution, because she had not remained faithful to Shelah and his family. This would remove this bothersome aspect from Judah’s family. When she is able to prove that he is the father of the unborn child, Judah admits to being in the wrong in this situation. He obviously no longer calls for her execution, and the children she bears, the twins, are raised as his. That also is the end of their personal relationship—i.e., that was the only time that Judah had relations with Tamar.

Much later, when the entire family of Jacob moved to Egypt, Joseph’s line had only grown by Tamar. She had twins by Judah, and one of the twins, Perez, had children (Hezron and Hamul) Footnote at the time of their move to Egypt. In other words, Tamar had grandchildren before Shelah, her brother-in-law, even had children. However, while living in Egypt, he had children—Er, obviously named for his deceased brother, was born to him (he may have actually been further down the line). We only know Er through this passage. Er’s children and descendants, Lecah, Laadah and Mareshah, are only known via this passage. We do not even know any of the names of the linen workers in Beth-ashbea. Actually, it is possible their name is Ashbea, as Beth-ashbea means the house of Ashbea. However, we do not know if that is a reference to a family or to a city. Apart from this passage, the name Ashbea is unknown in Scripture. The linen referred to is byssus, which is a fine white Egyptian linen. Footnote One of the interesting aspects of the ancient world is that certain families were not just associated with particular geographical areas, but often with specific professions—something which they apparently passed down from generation to generation. It is not unlike a family operating a farm or a business for several generations. The NIV Study Bible gives the examples of linen workers (v. 21), potters (v. 23), royal patronage (v. 23) and scribes (2:56). Footnote

and Jokim and men of Cozeba and Joash and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and Jashubi-lehem (and the words [are] old)



and Jokim and the men of Cozeba and Joash and Saraph, who briefly ruled in Moab and then returned to Bethlehem (the records are very ancient at this point).

In retrospect, I perhaps should have run vv. 21–23 together, as they are all one sentence (or, at least, one thought). It appears as though all that follow here are in the line of Laadah. Jokim is found only here.

The city of Cozeba is found only here, which ZPEB suggest might be a small town in the uplands of Judah (possibly the modern Khirbet ed-Dilb). It is also suggested that Cozeba might be identical to Achzib, which is a town on the border of the Shephelah and central Judah. Footnote It is also suggested that it may be equivalent to Chezib, which is mentioned in Gen. 38:5 as the birthplace of Shelah (this would be a real return to one’s roots). If this is a town in Judah, then that means that we are now dealing with descendants in the generation of promise.

Although there are a couple of Joash’s in Scripture, this one is found only here. Saraph is found only here as well. At this point, we should see what we have in the Massoretic text as versus the Septuagint:


JPS (Tanakh)                        ...and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph who married into Moab and Jashubi Lehem (the records are ancient).

NAB                                       ...Jokim; the men of Cozeba; and Joash and Saraph, who held property in Moab, but returned to Bethlehem [These are events of old.]

NASB                                    ...and Jokim, the men of Cozeba, Joash, Saraph, who ruled in Moab, and Jaashubi-lehem. And the records [lit., words] are ancient.

Selman                                  ...who went to Moab to take wives...; or, ...who worked for Moab...

The Septuagint                      And Joakim, and the men of Chozeba, and Joas, and Saraph, who dwelt in Moab, and he changed their names to Abederin and Athukiim.

REB                                       Jokim, the men of Kozeba, Joash, and Saraph who fell out with Moab and came back to Bethlehem. (The records are ancient.)

Young's Lit. Translation         ...and Jokim and the men of Chozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who ruled over Moab and Jashubi-Lehem; and these things are ancient.

As you see, there appear to be some significant differences. What catches our eye is Saraph named as a possible ruler in Moab. We obviously have no details on this, and the chronicler, Ezra, has no idea about these men or this rulership (or, whatever it is) either. He simply tells us that the words which he is reading are very old; I would think that this indicates that he really has no idea as to the time frame and is unable to correlate this with his own understanding of history or with any parallel records. Obviously, we are in no better shape. All we know is that, at some point in time, a man of Judah ruled in Moab Footnote (to what capacity is unknown, as is the time of rule or the length of rule). If Cozeba is a town in Israel, then we are at least in the early days of the settling of Israel. Given the altercations noted in the book of Judges between Israel and Moab, there may have even been an instance where Judah took tribute from Moab, placing their own man to rule in Moab. After all, Judah paid tribute to Moab in Judges 3:15–30; therefore, we could reasonably assume that the reverse also took place at some point in time. Obviously, Israel was not to dominate Moab—God gave that area to the sons of Lot—however, Israel did not always do as God directed. However, all of this is strictly educated guessing.

The name Jashubi-lehem may be a proper name and it may be a corruption of the text that should read and returned to Lehem. Kittel suggests that this should read and returned to Bethlehem. Let me throw in my two cents here: a scribe may have even added the sentence and the words [are] ancient, being unable to decipher exactly what was written here.

(they [were] the potters and inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah with the king in his work, they lived there).



They [were] potters and others who lived in Netaim and in Gederah (they lived there at the service of the king).

Not only is who they are unclear; but the end of this verse is a little confusing. Let’s see what others have done with it:


JPS (Tanakh)                        These were the potters who dwelt at Netaim and Gederah; they dwelt there in the king’s service.

KJV                                        These were potters, and those that dwelt among the plants and hedges; there they dwelt with the king for his work.

NASB                                    These were the potters and the inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah; they lived there with the king for his work.

The Septuagint                      The are the potters who dwelt in Ataim and Gadira with the king; they grew strong in his kingdom, and dwelt there.

Young's Lit. Translation         They are the potters and inhabitants of Netaim and Gedera; with the king in his work they dwelt there.

When you compare the KJV with the others, you will note that instead of transliterating two of the words (plants and hedges), they translated them. Most of the translations since then transliterated these words, interpreting them as the names of two side-by-side hamlets. My first thought was that these could have been organized by the king and named for their chief function. The problem with this is that Gederah is mentioned already in Scripture as one of the cities in the Shephelah of Judah (Joshua 15:36). Now, it could be that a king, such as Solomon, took Gederah, using his power of eminent domain, and set up a nearby hamlet, and then employed most of those in those two hamlets as those who were employed by the king. In any case, what seems to be the situation is that some of the descendants of Shelah through Laadah eventually settled properties which belonged to the king of Judah (probably David or Solomon as rulers of the entire nation Israel) and mostly functioned as potters (or, whatever) for the king. Barnes points out that David and the later kings generally had great territorial possessions throughout Judah (and he cites 1Chron. 27:25–31 2Chron. 26:10 27:4 32:28–29). It is unclear where Netaim is Footnote is located (this town is mentioned only here), but it means plantation. Gederah, which means wall, hedge or enclosure, is mentioned as one of the cities in the Shephelah of Judah (Joshua 15:36). Obviously, we have jumped from the early settlement of Israel in the previous verses to the time of the monarchy of the kingdom.

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The Line of Simeon

Gen. 46:10 Ex. 6:15 Num. 26:12–13

Sons of Simeon: Nemuel and Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul.



The sons of Simeon were: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah and Shaul.

At this point, we suddenly move into the line of Simeon. It would have been reasonable to begin a new chapter at this point (the chapter divisions, just like the verse divisions, are a continual source of amusement and wonder to me). The parallel passages which I quoted are obviously not going to be near as detailed as this passage will be.

When the land was divided up originally between the tribes, the initial number of cities given over to Judah was determined to be too much. Therefore, there was some redistribution which took place. Some of the border cities of Judah were given over to neighboring tribes, Dan and Benjamin to the north; and a southern portion of Judah’s allotment was given over to the tribe of Simeon. As a result of this, Simeon and Judah often acted in tandem (Judges 1:3, for example), and their tribes possibly even lost some national identity as a result (however, we do not observe a great deal of mixture of the lines which are followed out in these last three chapters of 1Chronicles nor do we observe the control of certain cities alternating between Judah and Simeon as we observe between Judah and Dan or Judah and Benjamin).

The differences between the text here and Gen. 46:10 indicates that both or either texts have become corrupted over the millenniums. For comparison purposes:

Differences in the Names of the Sons of Simeon



Gen. 46:10

Num. 26:12–13

1Chron. 4:24

Gen. 46:10

Num. 26:12–13

1Chron. 4:24





































You will note that the names and the differences in the names are almost exactly the same in the Greek and the Hebrew (like any language, there are letters in the Hebrew which are not found in the Greek and vice versa; e.g., there is no true h in the Greek—therefore, a name like Shaul becomes Saul. The similarities between the two lists of the two languages with regards to how the names differ slightly from passage to passage is quite impressive. Our manuscripts of the Hebrew go back to circa 800 a.d. The Hebrew manuscripts used in translating the Septuagint would have been perhaps a millennium older. Bear in mind that we are dealing with the portion of Scripture that most people find to be by far the least interesting; and, for a variety of reasons, should contain the most errors. The fact that ancient manuscripts on such incredibly perishable material produced a thousand years apart, possibly from different sources, Footnote could agree so closely, is unparalleled in ancient world literature (in fact, insofar as ancient and modern literature goes, the Bible is unparalleled in a dozen different ways). Footnote

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The sons of Simeon are found in the passages in the above table and in Ex. 6:15. That’s pretty much all we know about them. We might assume either that Ohad had no children or that his family never grew into a large, independent clan, as he is not named on later genealogical lists.

Shallum his son; Mibsam, his son; Mishma, his son.



Shaul’s son was Shallum; his son was Mibsam; and his son was Mishma.

At this point, as we did with the sons of Judah, we will need to organize a table to help us follow these lines out into history.

The Sons of Simeon

1.    Nemuel (1Chron. 4:24)

2.    Jamin (1Chron. 4:24)

3.    Jarib (1Chron. 4:24)

4.    Zerah (1Chron. 4:24)

5.    Shaul (1Chron. 4:24)

       a.    Shallum ➔ Mibsam ➔ Mishma (1Chron. 4:25)

               i.      Hammuel ➔ Zaccur (1Chron. 4:26) ➔ Shimei (who had 16 sons and 6 daughters) 1Chron. 4:26, 27)

6.    Descendants of Simeon or otherwise unknown origin:

       a.    Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshan ben Amaziah, Joel (1Chron. 4:34–37)

       b.    Asiel ➔ Seraiah ➔ Joshibiah ➔ Jehu (1Chron. 4:34–37)

       c.     Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshobaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah (1Chron. 4:34–37)

       d.    Shemaiah ➔ Shimri ➔ Jedaiah ➔ Allon ➔ Shiphi ➔ Ziza (1Chron. 4:34–37)

       e.    Sons of Simeon and also sons of Ishi (a Judahite): Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, Uzziel (1Chron. 4:42)

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As we might expect, the names of Simeon’s descendants—Shallum, Mibsam and Mishma—are found only here. However, there are some things that we might deduce from their names. Both Mibsam and Mishma are Ishmaelite names (see Gen. 25:13–14), which means that Shallum may have married an Arab woman and that these Arab ties continued for a generation or two.

And sons of Mishma: Hammuel, his son; Zaccur, his son; Shimei, his son.



The descendants of Mishma were: Hammuel (his son); Zaccur (his son); and Shimei (his son).

We know nothing more about Hammuel and Zaccur than we find in this verse.

And to Shimei, sons of sixteen and daughters of six; and to his brothers not sons of many and all their family did not multiply as sons of Judah.



And Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; his brothers had far fewer sons and the family of Simeon did not multiply nearly as fast as the family of Judah.

It has been so long since I have dealt with a verse of narration that I just about have forgotten how to behave. If you will recall, early on in Judah’s family, there was Caleb ben Hezron who had twenty sons. He was a standout, of course; however, the rest of his family were prolific as well. This is apparently the only descendant of Simeon who fathered a great many sons. If you will recall, early on, when Israel moved out from Egypt, the tribe of Judah had 74,600 men who were available to go to war; and Simeon had 59,300 (Num. 1:22–23, 26–27). Footnote After forty years in the desert, the family of Simeon shrunk in size to 22,200 and Judah showed a slight increased to 76,500.

They dwelt in Beersheba and Moladah and Hazar-shual and in Bilhah and in Ezem and in Tolad and in Bethuel and in Hormah and in Ziklag and in Beth-marcaboth and in Hazar-susim and in Beth-beri and in Shaaraim—these, their cities until a reign of David [or, unto King David]. Footnote



They all lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-shual, Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-marcaboth, Hazar-susim, Beth-beri and Shaaraim, which were their cities up to the time of King David.

You will first note that we lack the detail found earlier in this chapter in reference to the towns of Judah. In those towns, we knew which family lived where. Here we simply know that Shimei is the only Simeonite to have a butt-load of kids. It is not clear whether his descendants are those who populated these cities, although that is a reasonable inference to draw from the context.

We then begin a list of Simeonite cities which agrees quite well with the counterpart list in Joshua 19, which had been compiled about a thousand years earlier. This reveals an incredible amount of stability in the tribe of Simeon. Now, we don’t have a one-to-one correspondence by any means—given that amount of time, some cities would die out and new ones would be founded—however, there is a great deal of positive correlation between the two lists.

Beersheba is located in the Negev (the southern portion) of Judah and has a rich history with the sons of Israel. We covered it briefly in Judges 20:1 and in detail in Gen. 21:33. Abraham and his family went in and out of Beersheba on several occasions (it is mentioned several times in Gen. 21 and 26). Beersheba was one of the cities in the midst of Judah which God gave to the tribe of Simeon (Joshua 15:28 19:2). It became one of the principal cities in the south under David’s administration (2Sam. 24:2, 15) and is the southernmost major city in all of Israel (hence the oft-used phrase, from Dan to Beersheba). Of the cities named in this passage, Beersheba is the best known.

Moladah is found in the standard three passages that most of these cities are found in: Joshua 15:26 19:2 1Chron. 4:28 Neh. 11:26. Like all of the cities eventually given over to the family of Simeon (Joshua 19), Moladah was first given to Judah and then a part of the redistribution (Joshua 15). In Nehemiah, we have a list of some of the cities which were re-settled by the returning exiles. There will be more information on most of these cities in Joshua 19. Bilhah is only found in this passage; however, it is thought to be identical to Baalah (Joshua 15:29) and Balah (Joshua 19:3). Hazar-shual is found here and in Joshua 15:28 19:3 Neh. 11:27. It was re-settled by the Israelites when they returned from exile. It is always found in close proximity with Beersheba. Ezem is probably equivalent to Azem (Joshua 15:29 19:3). ZPEB suggests a location roughly 12 miles southeast of Beersheba. Footnote Tolad, also known as El-tolad, is found in Joshua 15:30 19:4.

Hormah was originally called Zephath and we covered this in more detail in Num. 14:45 Joshua 15:30 and Judges 1:16–17. Bethuel is thought to be equivalent to the city of Bethul (Joshua 19:4), a city which is not found on the list of the Judæan cities. It is also supposed that Bethuel is equivalent to Bethel of 1Sam. 30:27, as Bethel does not occur on the list of Judæan cities; as well as the same as the city of Chesil, a city on the list of Judæan cities (Joshua 15:30). The city of Beth-marcaboth (carriage house) is only found here and in Joshua 19:5; it may correspond to Madmannah in Joshua 15:31. ZPEB suggests Perhaps [it was] originally named Madmannah [and]...was renamed when converted to a chariot city. Footnote Beth-beri is found only in this verse; ZPEB suggests that Beth-beri may be the post-exilic name for Beth-lebaoth of Joshua 19:6. Footnote Hazar-susim (horse village) is known as Hazar-susah in Joshua 19:5 and is probably equivalent to Sansannah (Joshua 15:31).

Although some sources say that some of the people named in vv. 26–27 were contemporaries of David, this verse simply tells us that their descendants lived in those cities at least until the time of King David or that these cities had been deeded over to the Simeonites up until that time. The Simeonites were not always in possession of all of these cities. If you will recall, Ziklag was controlled by Philistines during the time of King Saul and presented as a present to David by King Achish. Therefore, we cannot assume complete and total control of each city by the Simeonites from the time of Joshua to the time of David (1Sam. 27:6). This was their possession given them by God which they may or may not have actually taken possession of. Now, if this is Ezra after the return of the exiles, then he is probably quoting from some documents from the time of David. Because of the dispersion, these families may or may not still be in existence and the tribe of Simeon may no longer be large enough to occupy many of these areas.

And their villages: Etam and Ain Rimmon and Tochen and Ashan—five cities and all their villages which [were] round about the cities the these as far as Baal [or, Baalath]. These [were] their settlements and their genealogy to them.



Also, there were their other settlements: Etam, Ain Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan—four cities and all their villages which were near these cities as far as Baalath. This is a listing of their settlements and it was taken from their own genealogical records.


At the end of this passage, we have the Hithpael infinitive construct of yâchas (-חָי) [pronounced yaw-KHAHS], which means to cause one’s name to be recorded in genealogical tables. Most of the time, this word is found in the Hithpael infinitive. The Hithpael is the reflexive of the Piel (intensive). Translating this is rather difficult; it sort of means, with the additional suffixes, etc. in this verse: and [the] genealogical records of them for them. It is variously rendered ...and they have their genealogy (NASB); and their genealogy (KJV); and these names are recorded in their family genealogy (NLT); and they have their genealogy (Young); and they had their own genealogical register (Rotherham). Strong’s #3187 BDB #405.

There are two places named Etam, and this particular one is found only here. Apparently, the Simeonites founded this city long after Joshua or assumed control over it after Joshua. This does match the reading in the Septuagint. This Etam would be in the Negev, while the other Etam would be located in the Shephelah.

Ain Rimmon (or, Ayin Rimmon or En Rimmon) is found here and in Joshua 15:32 19:7 and Neh 11:29, the same four passages where many of our cities occur (the last passage names those cities which were populated after the exile. In the second two passages, we have the identical problem—there is no intervening wâw conjunction, causing us to believe that there is simply one city here; there is a copula to be found in Joshua 15:32, however. In any case, if we are to assume that these two cities are one, then, in each of the three passages, that throws the number of cities off by one (this is true in the ancient Greek text as well). The most popular explanations is that (1) these were two small, nearby villages which became one; or, (2) a well-meaning, but wrong, scribe altered the numbering to indicate there were two cities here rather than one. The numbering of the cities could have been added throughout by a scribe, which was later taken as inspired text. Keil and Delitzsch beg to differ, placing the city of Rimmon four hours north (by foot) of Beersheba and Ain 35 minutes away from Beersheba (they identify it with some ruins there). Rimmon is possibly named in the prophecy of Zech. 14:10.

Tochen is found only here and in Joshua 15:42 19:7, where it is probably called Ether. Ashan is located in the Negev of Judah and is probably equivalent to Borashan, which we find in 1Sam. 30:30. It is found in Joshua 15:42 19:7 and some scholars suggest that in Joshua 21:16, Ain should be Ashan (this was a city given over to the Levites). Obviously, this would be a scholar of the mind that Ain and Rimmon are not separate cities and therefore, this could not be Ain. However, that is not their only evidence. In Septuagint A, this reads Aἰν (Ain) and in Septuagint B it reads ̓Ασα (Asa); furthermore, in 1Chron. 6:59, Ashan is named (not Ain) as a city given over to the Levites. In my opinion, this is more than enough evidence to support this position. The locations of Ether (Tochen) and Ashan is disputed (see Joshua 15:42 for more details).

In Joshua 19:8, Baal is given as Baalath. It also reads this way in Septuagint α. Footnote The last sentence simply means that Ezra had some historical documents which listed the areas where the tribe of Simeon lived and documents which listed the genealogies of the tribe of Simeon, and that he was quoting from these documents.

And Meshobab and Jamlech and Joshan ben Amaziah and Joel and Jehu ben Joshibiah, son of Seraiah son of Asiel and Elioenai and Jaokobah and Jeshohaiah and Asaiah and Adiel and Jesimiel and Benaiah and Ziza ben Shiphi, son of Allon, son of Jedaiah son of Shimri son of Shemaiah—



Additional descendants of Simeon include: Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshan ben Amaziah, Joel; Jehu, the son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel; and Elioenai, Jaokobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah; and Ziza, the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah—

As on most of these lists, this gives us what are essentially a group of family names who are undistinguished beyond that. All of these men were Simeonite princes (if not simply heads of families) who settled on the new pasture lands near Gerar. They are not mentioned elsewhere.

these the [ones] coming by name, princes in their families, and a house of their fathers has broken out to an abundance.



these who came in by name, who were as princes in their own families, and the house of their fathers has greatly increased in size, even beyond their original borders.

Let’s first see what others have done with this verse:


CEV                                       [In the CEV, this verse precedes the list of names in vv. 33–37]: As their families and clans became larger, the people of Simeon had the following leaders: Meshobab, Jamlech,... [etc.]

God’s Word                         These who are mentioned by name were leaders in their families, and the number of people in their households increased.

NASB                                    ...these mentioned by name were leaders in their families; and their fathers’ houses increased greatly.

Young's Lit. Translation         These who are coming in by name are princes in their families, and the house of their fathers have broken forth into a multitude;


After the demonstrative adjective, we have the definite article and the masculine plural, Qal active participle of bôw (א) [pronounced boh], which means to come in, to come, to go in, to go, to enter. This simply refers to the ones coming in, the ones entering. The participle acts as a noun. Strong’s #935 BDB #97. Then we have the bêyth preposition, which can mean in, at, by; and it is affixed to the masculine noun for name. I don’t know if we are referring to coming into their territory (to be mentioned in the next several verses) or if this is a reference to coming into this list of names. They are called princes, which is the masculine plural noun nâsîy ( ַי ̣ ָנ) [pronounced naw-SEE], which means one lifted up, leaders, chiefs, princes. Strong’s #5387 BDB #672. We don’t need to think of these men as royalty; simply as those who were men of renown from the tribe of Simeon during that time period. Recall that in v. 27, the tribe of Simeon is said to have not grown like the tribe of Judah, and we gave an example of that back in that verse for that time period. This apparently would be the tribe of Simeon at their most prolific, which would be prior to or immediately after the exile of the Southern Kingdom. If necessary, I could sit down, and, pretty much from memory, list a dozen or more names which are associated with important families in Houston (although I would be hard-pressed as to why or what they look like), the author of Chronicles is able to list those who are leaders of their families (and he is doing this by means of records which have been kept).


The next thought has the house of their fathers as the subject. The verb (the main verb of this sentence) is the Qal perfect of pârats (ץ ַר ָ) [pronounced paw-RATS] and it means to break through, to break over the limits, to break out. Strong’s #6555 BDB #829. The indication is that this population of Simeonites was beginning to break out of the area where they had been placed by God. This is followed by the lâmed preposition and the masculine singular noun rôbv (בֹר) [pronounced rohbv], which means multitude, abundance, greatness. Gesenius suggests that pârats is the infinitive of it verbal cognate, which, considering the lâmed prefix, makes sense. The verb means to become much, to be many, to increase. Here, it would be rendered to an abundance. Strong’s #7230 BDB #913.

And they went to an entrance of Gedor [probably, Gerar] as far as to east of the valley to seek pasture for their flocks.



They moved into the outskirts of Gerar, on its east side, in the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks.


Although the city of Gedor has already been mentioned twice in this chapter (vv. 4, 18), this is a different city, located in souther Judah, adjacent to the territory assigned to Simeon. Actually, in the Septuagint, it is not Gedor in vv. 4 and 18, but Gerara (recall how the d and r in the Hebrew are easily mistaken for one another). Footnote There is a Gerar mentioned throughout Genesis (10:19 20:1–2 26:1, 6, 17, 20, 26), as well as in 2Chron. 14:13–14, which is on the southern border of Canaan near the Mediterranean Sea. There is a Brook Gerar which feeds into the Mediterranean and is relatively close to the territory of Simeon. This would be a reasonable place for the tribe of Simeon to seek pasture for their flocks. Where the Simeonites went to was the masculine singular construct of mizerâch (ח ָר  ׃ז  ̣מ) [pronounced mize-RAHKH], which means eastward, east, place of sun rising. Strong’s #4217 BDB #280. What they are east of is the masculine singular of gaye(א י-) [pronounced gaheee], which means valley. Strong’s #1516 BDB #161. The city of Gerar is to the west of Simeon, near the Mediterranean Sea. Simeon has moved into the valley on the east side of Gerar, to the Brook Gerar, a very fertile district originally belonging to the Philistines, where they would find pasture for their flocks. Footnote This situation calls to memory the attack of the tribe of Dan on the peaceful people of Laish far to the north (Judges 18), the chief difference being that the Hamites were not known as a peaceful people. However, they probably established peace in that area through a strong military (that is an implication which may be drawn from the next verse). What happened to that military to Ham (assuming there was one) and the specifics of the attack and victory of Simeon are never given to us.

And so they found pasture, fat and good and the land [was] broad of two sides and quiet and peaceful, for from Ham the inhabitants there to formerly.



And they found this pastureland to be fertile and good, and it was very broad and quiet and peaceful, because the inhabitants of Ham had recently occupied this territory.

Although this is not a difficult verse to understand, there are some portions which are difficult to translate. Therefore, we will see what others have done before us:


CEV                                       ...and they found a lot of good pastureland that was quiet and undisturbed. this had once belonged to the Hamites,...

NASB                                    And they found rich and good pasture, and the land was broad and quiet and peaceful; for those who lived there formerly were Hamites.

Young's Lit. Translation         ...and they find pasture, fat and good, and the land broad of sides, and quiet, and safe, for of Ham are those dwelling there before.


The pastureland which they found is described by the adjective shâmên (ן ֵמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAYN], which means fat, stout, robust. Apparently, the ancient world and the time of King James had something in common when it came to describing that which was attractive. When someone was fat, that meant that they had prosperity enough to overeat. You will recall the paintings of the women from the 1500–1800’s (Rubens and Goya, among others)—they were voluptuous and well-rounded, and that, in the ancient world and into the 1800’s, was seen as attractive. Similarly, an animal about to be slaughtered who was large in bulk was considered to be a good thing (as it is today). Why slaughter some bony old thing with no meat? The adjective literally means fat; however, it connotes attractiveness, richness, desirability, abundance, opulence, plentiful, over-sufficient, ample, bountiful, fertile. Today, there is even the slang word phat, which actually means somewhat the same thing. Strong’s #8082 BDB #1032.


The land was described as being the feminine singular construct of râchâbv (ב ָח ָר) [pronounced raw-KHAVB], and it means wide, broad, space, roomy. Strong’s #7342 BDB #932. This is followed by the feminine dual of yâd (דָי) [pronounced yawd] is the Hebrew word for hand. In the dual, this can refer to sides (see Psalm 104:25). Strong's #3027 BDB #388. Not only was the land very broad but it was also the feminine singular, Qal active participle of shâqaţ (ט ַק ָש) [pronounced shaw-KAWT] and it means to be quiet, to be undisturbed, inactive. The second verb, in the Qal imperfect, is a continued state: and I would continue to be quiet. In the participle, it would mean quiet. Strong’s #8252 BDB #1052. This is followed by the adjective shâlêv (ו̤לָש) [pronounced shaw-LAYV], which means quiet, at ease. Strong’s #7961 BDB #1017.

Now, before we go any further in the exegesis, you should be wondering. We are in the Land of Promise; quite a number of different peoples have tried to populate this area because it was, at that time, lush and prosperous; and, suddenly, the tribe of Simeon discovers a place which is very wide, perfect for grazing their flocks, and is peaceful and quiet—what’s up with that? The historian also senses your questions and explains. The former inhabitants of that area were Hamites. He explains further in the next verse:

And so came these registered in name in days of Hezekiah king of Judah and so they strike down their tents and the Meunites who were found there and so they devoted them [to destruction] as far as the day the this; and so they dwell in their place for [there was] pasture for their flocks there.



Those who were registered by name during the time of King Hezekiah went into this land and struck down the tents Footnote of the Meunites who lived there. The Simeonites exterminated them (as is evident even up until today) and took their land for themselves, as it was good pastureland.

We do have some problem with the Meunites, as we have no idea where these people come from, although they appear to be tied somehow to the Edomites. We find them only four times in Scripture: here, 2Chron. 20:1 26:7 Neh. 7:52. ZPEB places them southwest of Edom, whereas I think that they may be closer to the Mediterranean Sea. What we would expect is for the Simeonites to look for land which is contiguous to their own territory. Also, it is certainly possible for the Meunites to have occupied more than one particular area of land. Nearly two centuries earlier, the Meunites had allied themselves with the Ammonites and the Moabites and set up to attack Judah. About the time that they got to En-gedi, Jehoshaphat heard of their advance and gathered up an army and went to meet them at Ziz. By the time he arrived, there was no battle to fight, as internal dissension between the three groups had degenerated into internal fighting.

Fifty years prior to this verse, King Uzziah had experienced some trouble with the Meunites (along with the Philistines and the Arabians as well). Apparently, many of the Meunites were taken prisoner and given over as slaves to the Levites. Upon the return of Israel to the land of Judah after their exile, Meunites returned as well among the Nethinim (the temple servants) (Ezra 2:50 Neh. 7:52). Footnote

Possibly the people who are named in previous verses make up the heads of the families and armies who took this land from the Meunites.

And from them from sons of Simeon went to a mountain of Seir—men five hundred and Pelatiah and Neariah and Rephaiah and Uzziel, sons of Ishi in their leaders.



And five hundred men from Simeon followed the remnant from the Meunites to Mount Seir. The leaders of these men were sons of Ishi—Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel.

This group of men who were leaders in this fight are called both sons of Simeon and sons of Ishi. Ishi is listed earlier in this chapter as a son of Judah (1Chron. 4:20). We essentially have the possibility that there was some mixture between the tribes of Judah and Simeon (which would not be unusual, as the tribe of Simeon lived within the borders of Judah and they appeared to have a good relationship). The other possibility is that this is a different Ishi from the one found in 1Chron. 4:20. Personally, I would lean toward the former interpretation.

Prior to their leaders we have the bêyth preposition which should probably be a kaph, which would mean as their leaders. These leaders are only named here in this verse; it appears as though the Meunites fled from their area to Edom and that Simeon followed them there.

And so they struck down a remnant of the escaped to Amalek. And so they have lived there as far as the day the this.



So they [the Simeonites] destroyed the escaped remnant of the Amalekites. The Simeonites have lived there in this new land until today.

This seems to indicate that either the Meunites were a branch of the Amalekites or the term Amalekite could be being used in its general sense, as is often the case with the proper noun Canaanite, to refer to the indigenous peoples of the land. Although these were specific peoples, it often appears as though they were referred to in general as Canaanites or as Amalekites. Recall that the Amalekites were possibly descendants of Esau, Abraham’s son by Hagar (however, they are mentioned earlier in Genesis, so we may even be dealing with two separate and unrelated groups of Amalekites). As a group, they lived to the east of Israel; however, like any group of the ancient world, they were not a pure race by any means and they weren’t always confined to one geographical location. Prior to the proper noun, Amalekites, we have the lâmed prefixed preposition, which means to or for. I don’t exactly know how that should be translated—most translators do not translate it at all. Most treat it as though it indicated a construct relationship between escaped and Amalek; I don’t know that that is valid.


The Emphasized Bible           ...and they smote the remainder that had escaped of the Amalekites, —and dwelt there—[as they have] unto this day.

KJV                                        And they smote the rest of the Amalekites that were escaped, and dwelt there unto this day.

NASB                                    And they destroyed the remnant of the Amalekites who escaped, and have lived there to this day.

Young's Lit. Translation         ...and they smite the remnant of those escaped of Amalek, and dwell there unto this day.

You will note that I only included the most literal of the various translations. I wonder if it might be more accurate that they escaped to Mount Seir, to Amalek, and were destroyed by Israel there; rather than associating them with Amalek. I may be making too much of this, as it is allowable to insert within a construct chain the hê directive, a preposition or the suffixion of a pronoun. Footnote Still, I don’t quite get the reason for the insertion of the lâmed prefixed preposition. However, I will let it go because (1) prepositions in the Hebrew tend to have a much wider usage than do their counterparts in the English; and, (2) our most accurate translations treat this as a construct state, although it is not so identified by Owen. Literally, we have: And they struck [sign of direct object] a remnant of the escaped to [or, with reference to] Amalek. Because of the definite article preceding escaped, there is no construct state (a noun in the construct state will not have a definite article). In any case, both David and Saul enjoyed victories over the Amalekites (1Sam. 14:48 15:7 2Sam. 8:12), and Joshua, many centuries earlier, under Moses, fought and defeated the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8–16).

At the very end, we have Simeon remaining undisturbed in this particular area. That was not true during the invasion of Babylon; however, what the chronicler is probably doing is simply copying from the records at his disposal, which, at the point in time that they were written, Simeon had taken that area and had possessed it undisturbed until that time. That this came from genealogical and geographical records is noted back in v. 33.

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