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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 5

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he [was] the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

But, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed.See Trapp on " Genesis 35:22 "

But, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed. — He might well say as Lysimachus did, when for a draught of water he had parted with his kingdom, Ah, for how short a (sinful) pleasure, how great privileges and blessings have I forfeited!

His birthright. — That is, His double portion of inheritance: as for the dignity due to him, it was given to Judah.

Joseph the son of Israel,i.e., His best beloved son.

Verse 2

For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him [came] the chief ruler; but the birthright [was] Joseph’s:)

For Judah prevailed above his brethren. — As was foretold. Genesis 49:8-10 See Trapp on " Genesis 49:8 " See Trapp on " Genesis 49:9 " See Trapp on " Genesis 49:10 "

And of him came the chief ruler. — Jesus Christ especially. Hebrews 7:14

But the birthright was Joseph’s.Quod ad fructum attinet.

Verse 4

The sons of Joel; Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son,

The sons of Joel. — Who was Hanoch’s son, likely.

Verse 6

Beerah his son, whom Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria carried away [captive]: he [was] prince of the Reubenites.

He was prince of the Reubenites. — But not the father of the prophet Hosea, as some have held. Lyra.

Verse 10

And in the days of Saul they made war with the Hagarites, who fell by their hand: and they dwelt in their tents throughout all the east [land] of Gilead.

They made war with the Hagarites,i.e., Ishmaelites inhabiting Arabia deserta. These, ashamed of their mother Hagar the handmaid, would afterwards need for honour’s sake be called Saracens, by the name of Sarah the mistress, as saith Sozomen. Lib. vii. cap. 38. Am. Marc. This so pleased the rest of the Arabians, that they would all be called Saracens. Mohammed their general grew famous in the days of Heraclius the emperor, and subdued many countries. Now they are called Turks, …

And they dwelt in their tents. — Few countries but have changed their inhabitants: such is the vanity of all here below. The Athenians vaunted, but vainly, that they were αυτοχθονες , bred out of the land they lived upon, as so many mushrooms or grasshoppers.

Verse 11

And the children of Gad dwelt over against them, in the land of Bashan unto Salchah:

In the land of Bashan. — Bashan was the name both of the whole country and the chief city; like as Muscovia is at this day.

Verse 12

Joel the chief, and Shapham the next, and Jaanai, and Shaphat in Bashan.

And Jaanai and Shaphat in Bashan. — Or, Abode in Bashan to defend their country, while their brethren were warring abroad. Jun.

Verse 16

And they dwelt in Gilead in Bashan, and in her towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, upon their borders.

Suburbs of Sharon. — Which was ager pascuosissimus, a place of fat feeding, 1 Chronicles 27:29 situate under the hill of Lebanon; coupled with Carmel for "excellency"; Isaiah 35:2 not more a field than "a fold for flocks." Isaiah 65:10

Upon their borders. — Heb., Their outgoings.

Verse 17

All these were reckoned by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.

In the days of Jeroboam,i.e., Jeroboam the second, who ruled over them.

Verse 18

The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, [were] four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war.

Men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow. — These weapons were much in use till guns were invented; to the destruction, not of the inventor only - who was therefore hanged they say - but of many other brave marshals.

Verse 19

And they made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab.

And they made war with the Hagarites. — See 1 Chronicles 5:10 .

Verse 20

And they were helped against them, and the Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that [were] with them: for they cried to God in the battle, and he was intreated of them; because they put their trust in him.

And they were helped against them. — Helped from heaven, by means of some manifest miracle.

For they cried to God in the battle. — So did Jabez; 1 Chronicles 4:10 Jehoshaphat; 2 Chronicles 20:3 the thundering legion; the late king of Sweden, whose prayer before the great battle of Lutzen - where he fell, - was, "Jesus, vouchsafe this day to be my strong helper; and give me courage to fight for the honour of thy name." Prayer alone he held the surest piece of his whole armour.

Verse 21

And they took away their cattle; of their camels fifty thousand, and of sheep two hundred and fifty thousand, and of asses two thousand, and of men an hundred thousand.

Of their camels, fifty thousand. — These creatures were much set by in those eastern parts; as for their usefulness to bear great burdens, so for their unthirstiness, for they will travel three or four days together and not care to drink. Implentur cameli, cum bibendi est occasio, et in praeteritum, et in futurum, saith Pliny Lib. viii. cap. 18. They drink when they do, both for the time past and for the time to come.

And of sheep. — Good et ad esum, et ad usum.

And of asses two thousand. — Little set by, and therefore a less number.

Verse 22

For there fell down many slain, because the war [was] of God. And they dwelt in their steads until the captivity.

Because the war was of God,i.e., It was just and necessary; God also fought therein, as it were personally, against those idolatrous wretches.

Verse 25

And they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.

And they transgressed against the God of their fathers. — Who had so renowned and prospered them. See their sin largely set forth, 2 Kings 17:7-8 , …

And went a-whoring after the gods. — Idolaters are adulterers and adulteresses in sundry respects. They "forsake" God, "the guide of their youths," lavish gold out of the bag, take great pains and long journeys, plead for their sin, are impatient of reproof, careless of their credit, endless in plodding of their paramours, …

Verse 26

And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, even the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day.

And the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul. — "Howbeit he meant not so, neither was it in his heart to think so," - viz., that God set him on, - "but it was in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few." Isaiah 10:7

King of Assyria. — Though the Assyrians took their names from Ashur, son of Shem, Genesis 10:22 1 Chronicles 1:17 yet the kingdom seemeth, saith one, to be raised amongst them by the prosperity of Cush, the son of Ham. Genesis 10:6-11

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 5". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/1-chronicles-5.html. 1865-1868.
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