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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

1 Chronicles 2

Verses 1-2

The Sons of Israel

These verses list the sons of Jacob, here called “Israel”, in a random order. First the six children of Leah are mentioned, then one of Bilhah, then two of Rachel, then another of Bilhah and finally two of Zilpah. About twenty-two times there is a list of the sons of Jacob in the Bible, where the order often changes.

Verses 3-17

Descendants From Judah to David

In the rest of this chapter the descendants of Judah are mentioned. Judah’s genealogy is mentioned first because of the kingship that is associated with this tribe.

On the gravestone of Er we read the characteristic of his life: He “was wicked in the sight of the LORD, so He put him to death” (1 Chronicles 2:3). It is a warning to live and walk before God’s face with fear, praying and watching, because every moment there can be said or done by us something that will characterize our lives. What will be read on my gravestone?

Few women are mentioned, but the name of Tamar shows a special grace from God (1 Chronicles 2:4). She gives birth to Perez as a result of a lewd act she committed with Judah (Genesis 38:14-Job :; Genesis 38:27-Amos :). It is God’s special grace that she is mentioned in the book of Ruth (Ruth 4:12) and in the genealogy of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 1:3).

Four of Zerah’s five sons, “Ethan, Heman, Calcol and Dara”, are known for their wisdom (1 Chronicles 2:6). When the Holy Spirit represents the wisdom of Solomon, he declares Solomon wiser than these four men: “For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, Heman, Calcol and Darda, the sons of Mahol” (1 Kings 4:31). It is rare that such a testimony can be given of four brothers.

It can also be mentioned that a psalm of Ethan and Heman is included in the Holy Scriptures (Psalms 88:1; Psalms 89:1). They should not be confused with Heman and Ethan, the musicians of David (1 Chronicles 15:19), for they are of the tribe Levi and not of the tribe Judah (cf. 1 Chronicles 6:33-Acts :).

The inscription on the gravestone of Achar, that is Achan reads: “The troubler of Israel, who violated the ban” (1 Chronicles 2:7). His sin is described in the book of Joshua (Joshua 7:1). We see here to the best families, here Judah, people can belong who are a disgrace to the family.

The names mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:9-2 Kings : are the direct ancestors of David, to whom the chronicler works in the genealogies (cf. Ruth 4:19-Song of Solomon :). That does not mean that all names of the ancestors are mentioned from Ram onwards. Three centuries have passed between Ram, the son of Hezron, and Nahshon, the son of Amminadab. Nahshon is “leader of the sons of Judah” in the days of Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 1:7; Numbers 2:3). Nahshon’s son, Salma, marries Rahab, the harlot, after the fall of Jericho (Matthew 1:5).

1 Chronicles 2:16 shows that the three men “Abshai, Joab and Asahel”, who we know from David’s army, are the sons of David’s sister and thus his cousins. The same goes for Amasa, who is the son of another sister.

Verses 18-24

Descendants of Caleb (I)

Bezalel, the son of Uri (1 Chronicles 2:20), is known to us from the building of the tabernacle (Exodus 31:2-Numbers :).

Hezron, from whom Caleb and his descendants came forth, appears to have been a very fruitful man, even in his old age. When he dies, his wife Abia is pregnant and gives birth to another child after his death (1 Chronicles 2:24).

Verses 25-41

Descendants of Jerahmeel

This list includes names of people whose particular characteristic is that they died childless or without sons (1 Chronicles 2:30; 1 Chronicles 2:32-Nahum :). Childlessness is not new. God’s providence gives or withhold children, or sometimes gives them only of the same sex. For those who desire to have children, it is a great test if the desire for children remains unfulfilled.

The need that this can bring with it cannot be understood by those who have children. Only the Lord can give His comfort therein. By His consolation they can come to accept in confidence that this is the way He wants to go with them. In this way they can serve Him in a special way. To those who love Him He will give a place and a name in His house, better than those of sons and daughters (Isaiah 56:5).

The marriage of Sesan’s daughter to an Egyptian slave (1 Chronicles 2:35) can only be permitted if we assume that this slave has become a Jew, a proselyte.

Verses 42-55

Descendants of Caleb (II)

In this section, “the families of scribes” are noticeably (1 Chronicles 2:55). Writing is important in the things of God. It means being busy with it and recording it and thus passing it on to the next generations. In this way, future generations can be taught the things of God.

The Kenites (1 Chronicles 2:55) do not originally belong to Israel. They are one of the heathen peoples of the land of Canaan (Genesis 15:18-Ecclesiastes :). Here they are included in the genealogy of the tribe of Judah. It seems that over the years they have become more and more part of the tribe of Judah, may be by marriages. They are a people who, in addition to Caleb, one of the twelve spies, have also become known for the fidelity of one of their families, that of the Rechabites. Their faithfulness to the customs of their fathers is so much appreciated by the LORD, that in the book of Jeremiah He sets this lineage as an example to His unfaithful people (Jeremiah 35:12-Nehemiah :).

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Chronicles 2". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/1-chronicles-2.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.