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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
1 Chronicles 7

 

 

Verses 1-40

5. The remaining families of Israel ch7

The tribes the writer listed were Issachar, Benjamin, Naphtali, Prayer of Manasseh , Ephraim, and Asher. Why did he omit Dan and Zebulun? The inclusion of these tribes would have resulted in a total of14tribes since he had counted Levi and had dealt with both halves of Manasseh separately. Evidently to keep the whole number of tribes at12he omitted these. [Note: John Sailhamer, First and Second Chronicles, p26.] Another possibility is that perhaps the tribes of Dan and Zebulun had little influence or relevance among the Jews who made up the returned exiles. [Note: Payne, "1 , 2 Chronicles ," p357.] That there were12tribes seems to have been more important to the writer than how he counted them as12. The writers of both the Old and New Testaments used many different combinations each totaling12in the many lists of the12tribes that appear in Scripture. By listing12tribes the Chronicler emphasized that the whole nation was intact. The term "all Israel" occurs over40 times in Chronicles, and there are also many occurrences of the phrases "all the house of Israel" and "all the tribes of Israel."

"At a time when the northern tribes had long been in exile, the Chronicler provides a genealogical listing for all the tribes (except Zebulun and Dan); in giving such a list, the Chronicler is (1) expressing his awareness of continuity with the larger number, (2) showing his concern to include the northern tribes rather than to exclude them, (3) suggesting that he regarded the schism as neither permanent nor desirable, and (4) possibly giving some expression to an eschatological hope for a revival of the nation in its largest extent." [Note: Longman and Dillard, p196.]

"Individuals without lineage in the course of time took their names from the cities in which they were located, and their names were enrolled genealogically among the ancestors of Israel." [Note: Braun, 1 Chronicles , p109.]

In these chapters (4-7), the writer stressed the following central features of God"s covenant relationship with Israel. The leadership of Judah that even swallowed up another tribe came to a head in David and his descendants. The Transjordanian tribes experienced the results of unfaithfulness to God. The tribe of Levi enjoyed the privilege of priesthood in Israel. The writer also drew attention to the12-tribe structure of the one Israelite nation.

 


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Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 7:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-chronicles-7.html. 2012.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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