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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

1 Chronicles 1

Verses 1-54

1 Chronicles 1:7 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.

1 Chronicles 1:7 Word Study on “Dodanim” The Hebrew text reads “Rodaniym” ( רֹודָנִים ) in 1 Chronicles 1:7, but it is spelled “Dodaniym” ( דֹּדָנִים ) (H1721) in the KJV. This is considered by many scholars to be an orthographical error, where a scribe accidentally wrote the Hebrew letter daleth ( ד ) instead of resh ( ר ). The error obviously occurred because the two letters are very similar in shape. Its parallel passage in Genesis 10:4 also spells the word as “Dodaniym” ( דֹּדָנִים ), just as it is written in the Hebrew text.

Genesis 10:4, “And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim .”

Because of the tremendous reverence that the Jews gave the Hebrew Scriptures, they feared to correct the text even when it was an obvious scribal error. Therefore, any corrections of recognized errors were made in the margin or footnote of the text, while the misspelled words were retained within in the text. 1 Chronicles 1:7 is a classic example of this retention of an altered text.

Because the LXX, the Samaritan Pentateuch and some of the manuscripts of the Masoretic Text read “Rhodians” in both passages ( Gesenius), many scholars believe that the correct form should read “Rodanim,” which denotes the inhabitants of the island of Rhodes. However, most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text read “Dodanim.” Regardless of the interpretation, everyone agrees that this refers to the Rhodians.

Some modern translations take the liberty to correct the reading of 1 Corinthians 1:7, such as the NIV.

NIV, “The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, the Kittim and the Rodanim .”

1 Chronicles 1:18 And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber.

1 Chronicles 1:18 Word Study on “Shelah” Hebrew ( שֶׁלַח ) (H7974) PTW says the name “Shelah” means “peace.” Strong says this word is derived from the primitive root ( שָׁלַח ) (H7971), which means, “to send.”

1 Chronicles 1:19 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother's name was Joktan.

1 Chronicles 1:19 Word Study on “Peleg” Gesenius says the Hebrew name “Peleg” “pehleg” ( פֶּלֶג ) (H6389) means, “division, part.” Strong says it means, “earthquake.” The TWOT says it means, “divide.” The ISBE says that the Aramaic word “pelagh” and the Arabic word “phalaj” both mean “division.” [21] The Enhanced Strong says this word is found 7 times in the Old Testament, being translated in the KJV as “Peleg 7.”

[21] S. F. Hunter, “Peleg,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., c1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v. 1.5.11 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

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Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 1". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/1-chronicles-1.html. 2013.