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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 1

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

Verses 1-54




a. Genealogies of the Patriarchs from Adam to Isaac’s Sons Israel and Edom, with the Posterity of the Latter till the Times of the Kings, Ch. 1

1Adam, Sheth, Enosh. 2Kenan, Mahalalel, Jered. 3Henoch, Methushelah, 4Lamech. Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 5The sons of Japheth: Gomer, 6and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. And the sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, and Riphath,1 and Togarmah. 7And the sons of Javan: Elisha, and Tarshishah, Kittim, and Rodanim.2 8The sons of Ham: Cush and Mizraim, Put and Kanaan. 9And the sons of Kush: Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Rama, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Rama: Sheba 10and Dedan. And Kush begat Nimrod; he began to be a hero on the earth. 11And Mizraim begat the Ludim,3 and the Anamim, and the Lehabim, and the 12Naphtuhim. And the Pathrusim, and the Kasluhim, of whom came the 13Pelishtim, and the Kaphtorim. And Kanaan begat Zidon, his first-born, and 14, 15Heth. And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite. And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite. 16And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. 17The sons of Shem: Elam, and Asshur, and Arpakshad, 18and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.4 And 19Arpakshad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Heber. And to Heber were born two sons; the name of the one was Peleg [division]; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan. 20And Joktan begat 21Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah. And Hadoram, and 22Uzal, and Diklah. And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba. 23And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these are sons of Joktan.

24Shem, Arpakshad, Shelah. 25Eber,Peleg,Reu. 26Serug, Nahor, Terah. 27Abram; 28that is, Abraham. The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael. 29These are their generations: Ishmael’s first-born was Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and 30, 31Mibsam. Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema. Jetur, Naphish, 32and Kedemah: these are sons of Ishmael. And the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah; and Jokshan’s sons: Sheba and Dedan. 33And the sons of Midian: Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and Abida, and Eldaah: all these are the sons of Keturah. 34And Abraham begat Isaac; the sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel. 35The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jalam, and Korah. 36The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timnah, and Amalek. 37The sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. 38And the sons of Seir: Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibon, and Anah, and Dishan, and Ezer, and Dishan. 39And the sons of Lotan: Hori and Homam; and Lotan’s sister was Timnah. 40The sons of Shobal: Aljan,5 and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi,6 and Onam; and the sons of Zibon: Ajah and Anah. 41The sons of Anah: Dishon; and the sons of Dishon: Hamran,7 and Eshban, and Ithran, and Keran. 42The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, and Zaavan, and Jaakan; the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.

43And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before the sons of Israel had kings: Bela, son of Beor; and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 44, 45And Bela died, and Jobab, son of Zera of Bozrah, reigned in his stead. And Jobab died, and Husham, of the land of the Temanites, reigned in his stead. 46And Husham died, and Hadad, son of Bedad, who smote Midian in the land 47of Moab, reigned in his stead; and the name of his city was Ajuth.8 And 48Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. And Samlah 49died, and Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead. And Shaul 50died, and Baal-hanan, son of Hakbor, reigned in his stead. And Baal-hanan died, and Hadad9 reigned in his stead; and the name of his city was Pahi; and the name of his wife was Mehetabel, daughter of Matred, daughter of 51Mezahab. And Hadad died; and the dukes of Edom were: the duke of 52Timnah, duke of Aljah,10 duke of Jetheth. Duke of Oholibamah, duke of 53Elah, duke of Pinon. Duke of Kenaz, duke of Teman, duke of Mibzar. 54Duke of Magdiel, duke of Hiram: these are the dukes of Edom.


Preliminary Remark.—The whole of these patriarchal forefathers of the house of David down to Israel and Edom, sons of Isaac, appear to be divided into two nearly equal parts, to the second of which is added an appendix on the descendants of Edom till the times of David. The first part, 1 Chronicles 1:1-23, enumerates the 10 antediluvian patriarchs from Adam to Noah, the 3 sons of Noah, and the 70 nations descending from them (on this number 70, see the Remark under 1 Chronicles 1:23). In the second part, 1 Chronicles 1:24-42, are given the 10 generations from Shem to Abraham, the sons of Abraham by Hagar, Keturah, and Sarah, and the stocks derived from them, which again amount to 70 (see under 1 Chronicles 1:42). The appendix, 1 Chronicles 1:43-54, mentions the kings of the Edomites before David, that are also given in Genesis 36:0, as well as the 11 there named dukes of Edom. In all these genealogical and ethnological statements the author adheres closely to the matter, and where he does not merely abbreviate, as several times in the second part, and partly also in the appendix, even to the words of Genesis, of which 1 Chronicles 5:10 (the table of nations) serve him till 1 Chronicles 1:23, and 1 Chronicles 2:25, 1 Chronicles 2:36 till the end as sources and models. He reports in the briefest manner concerning the patriarchs before Noah, and concerning Noah himself, and his sons (1 Chronicles 1:1-4), of whom he merely gives the names, 13 in number, without even remarking that the first 10 of these names denote successive generations and the last 3 brothers. He might certainly presuppose in his readers sufficient knowledge of the relations of these holy and venerable names from the earliest foretime. He knew that to them as well as to himself belonged “the faculty to perceive in all these names the indications and foundations of a rich ancient history” (Berth.). And it was scarcely otherwise with the names of the following series, reaching further into the more known history, which he also brings together in a brief and bare report. Even where we are unable to perceive the historical importance of the prominent names, and the grounds on which they must have been of interest to every pious Israelite, the fact of such importance is to be presumed in every case, and for every single name. Comp. Ewald, Gesch. d. Volkes Israel, 2d edit. i. 1Chr 479: “These dry names from a hoary antiquity when we know how to awaken them from their sleep, do not remain so dead and stiff, but announce and revive the most important traditions of the ancient nations and families, like the petrifactions and mountain strata of the earth, which, rightly questioned, tell the history of long vanished ages.”11

§ I. The Patriarchs before Noah, the three Sons of Noah, and the (70) Nations descending from them: 1 Chronicles 1:1-23

1. From Adam to Noah’s Sons: 1 Chronicles 1:1-4.—On the stringing together of the bare names, without any explanation, see Preliminary Remark. The names are all taken from Genesis 5:0 : the rich contents of this oldest genealogy of primeval history is here reduced to the shortest possible form of an abstract. For the conjectural etymology of the several names (Adam = man ; Sheth = substitute; Enosh = weak, frail man; Kenan = gain or gainful, etc.), see vol. i. p. 121 f. of the Bibelwerk.—The order of the names of the three sons of Noah is Shem, Ham, and Japheth; as always in Genesis also, though Ham (Genesis 9:24) was the youngest of the three. Comp. our Introductory Remarks on the prophet Daniel (Bibelwerk, part xiii. p. 11), where it is made probable that this order, like that of the names Noah, Daniel, and Joab (in Ezekiel), depends on euphonic principles (so Delitzsch, Komm. über die Genesis , 4 th edit. 1872, p. 233)

2. From Noah’s Sons to Abraham; the Table of Nations: 1 Chronicles 1:5-23.—This abstract from the Mosaic table of nations Genesis 10:0 has abridged the larger genealogical ethnographic account to the present narrow limits, chiefly by omitting the opening and closing notes, and passing over the remarks on the kingdom of Nimrod at Babel, and the spread of the Shemites and Hamites in their countries (1 Chronicles 1:5; 1 Chronicles 1:9-12; 1 Chronicles 1:18-20). Here, again, there is that abbreviating and condensing process which is characteristic of the author. For the ethnological and geographical import of the several names, comp. the commentary on Genesis by the editor (vol. i. p. 171 of the Bibelwerk), and the monographs on the table of nations there cited.

a. The Japhethites: 1 Chronicles 1:5-7.—The names of the descendants of Japheth, 14 in number (7 sons and 7 grandsons), open the series in Genesis 10:0 of stems and nations to be enumerated, perhaps because they represented the strongest and most widely-spread body (Japheth = “enlarging,” Genesis 9:27), scarcely because he passed for the firstborn of Noah; for Shem, who is always placed before Japheth, even when only the two are named together, is to be regarded as such; see especially the decisive passages, Genesis 9:23; Genesis 9:26 (against Starke, Bertheau, etc.). [These texts are not decisive; and Shem was born in the 503d year of Noah, Genesis 11:11, and therefore two years at least after Japheth, Genesis 5:32,–J. G. M.]—The view recently again maintained with ingenuity and learning by J. G. Müller (Die Semiten in ihrem Verhältniss zu Chamiten und Japhetiten, Gotha 1872), that the so-called Shemites are nothing but Japhethites or Indogermans Hamitized in language, is in any case at variance with the Biblical genealogy of the sons of Noah, whether Shem or Japheth be the first-born.

1 Chronicles 1:6. Riphath. This form, rejected by the Masoretes in favour of the probably erroneous (resting on an old clerical error) דּיפַת, has not only the weight of so old witnesses as the Sept. and Vulg. for it (see the Crit. Note on 1 Chronicles 1:6), but also the circumstance that plausible ethnographic explanations can be adduced for Riphath, but not for Diphath; comp. the name ‛Ριφαταῖοι = Παφλαγόν in Joseph. Antiq. i. 6, and the ὄρη ‛Ρίπαια, on the ground of which Knobel has attempted to show in Riphath the ancestor of the Kelts (against which the Paphlagonian cities Tibia and Tobata [Bochart, Geogr. Sacra, p. 198 seq.], produced by the ancients in defence of the reading דִּיפַת, cannot, from their smallness and insignificance, be taken into account).

1 Chronicles 1:7. Tarshishah (תַּרְשִׁישָׁה), a later form for תַּרְשִׁישׁ, which is usual in Gen. (1 Chronicles 10:4) and elsewhere in the O. T. (also 2 Chronicles 9:21; 2 Chronicles 20:36), the ah of motion having in this form melted into one word with the name itself. “With this are to be compared the modern Greek names, obtained by the wearing away of the proposition εἰς and the article, Stalimene = Lemnos, Stambul = (Konstantino)polis, Satines = Athenæ, Stanko= Kos,” etc. (Berth.).—Rodanim, רוֹדָנִים; many transcribers and older editors wish to change this into the דֹּדָנִים of Genesis 10:4, although even there some old authorities (Sam., Sept., Jerome, Quœst. in Gen.) read רוֹדָנִים. The decision is difficult, because, on the one hand, Knobel’s reference of Dodanim to the Dardani is verbally doubtful; on the other hand, the Rhodians ( = Rodanim) appear too unimportant a part of the Hellenic race to be put on the same footing with Æolians (= Elishah), Etruscans (= Tarshish), and Cyprians or Karians (= Kittim). And yet the placing of Kittim and Rodanim together, and the consideration that the sea trade of the Rhodians might have become very important for such oriental nations as the Phœnicians and the Hebrews, appear to speak more for the reading of our book than for the original (comp. Berth.). And if Dodanim were to pass for the original form, and yet the application to the Dardani be untenable, the reference to Dodona would be internally still less probable than that to the Rhodians.

b. The Hamites: 1 Chronicles 1:8-16.—Of these are named 4 sons, 24 grandsons, and 2 great-grandsons, being 30 descendants in all. Nimrod, 1 Chronicles 1:10, does not count among the grandsons, as he appears only as a famous individual (hero), not as a head or founder of a people (patriarch). His introduction, therefore, is different from that of those previously named, not by וּבְנֵי (see 1 Chronicles 1:5-9; and comp. Genesis 10:2-7), but by יָלַד, as Genesis 10:8, which verse is literally transcribed by the Chronist. By the formula: “he began to be a hero on the earth,” the nature and import of Nimrod are briefly and pithily expressed, so that a repetition of the further statements of Genesis concerning him (1 Chronicles 10:9-12) is not necessary. Comp. as a parallel from the New Testament: ὅς καὶ παρέδωκεν αὐτόν (or ὁ καὶ παραδοὺς αὐτόν), with which the evangelists are wont to characterize Judas Iscariot.—On לוּדִיִּים, 1 Chronicles 1:11, see Critical Note.

c. The Shemites, particularly the non-Hebrews: 1 Chronicles 1:17-23.—Of them are named in all 23 members, namely (as the parallel passage Genesis 10:23 more exactly shows), 5 sons, 5 grandsons, and 16 other descendants. That in 1 Chronicles 1:17 the names Uz, Hul, Gether, Meshech, which properly denote grandsons of Shem by Aram, are appended at once to the 5 sons of Shem (so that they appear to be his sons, and thus the number of his sons would be 9, and that of his grandsons only 1), is a circumstance sufficiently explained, as the similar case in 1 Chronicles 1:4 of Noah’s sons: the author presumed the relation of the 4 as sons to Aram to be sufficiently known, and therefore thought it unnecessary to repeat the words וּבְנֵי אֲרָם before עוּץ from Genesis 10:23. Less probable is the supposition that the words in question fell out by a mistake of the copyist, or that the Chronist, deviating from the Pentateuch, really took the nations Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech to be sons, not grandsons, of Shem (as Knobel, Völkertafel, p. 252).—Moreover, almost all manuscripts give the last name in 1 Chronicles 1:17 מֶשֶׁךְ; only a few conform to the reading in Genesis (מַשׁ), for which also the Sept. there presents Μοσόχ = מֶשֶׁךְ; and so might the Chronist have read in the text of Genesis. It is also in favour of Meshech being the original name, that Mash as a national name is quite unknown, while Meshech occurs as the name of a Shemite or Arabic tribe along with Kedar in Psalms 120:5

1 Chronicles 1:22. Ebal, עֵיבָל, is called in the parallel Genesis 10:28 rather Obal, עוֹבָל; yet the Sept. seems to have read עֵיבָל, for it gives the name as Εὐάλ. Comp. the similar but reverse case of Homam ( = Hemam) under 1 Chronicles 1:39.—The 14 descendants of Japheth, 30 of Ham, and 26 of Shem, amount to 70 nations descended from Noah. This number the author intended to bring out; for with him, or before him, other Jewish expositors might have discovered the symbolic number 70 in the Mosaic table of nations (it may, in fact, be gathered from it; comp. J. Fürst, Gesch. der bill. Liter. und des jüdisch-hellenischen Schriftthums, i. p. 119); and this number of the nations of the globe, occasionally enlarged to 72, plays otherwise an important part in the Jewish circle of thought. This is shown by its frequent mention in the Talmud, and its occurrence in the Gnostic writings and the Pseudo-Clementine (Recogn. ii. 42). To this belong also such biblical passages as Numbers 9:16 and Luke 10:1 ff.; for the 70 elders appointed by Moses in the wilderness (with the 70 members of the Jewish Sanhedrin on this model), as well as the 70 disciples chosen by Jesus, appear to be due to a symbolic reference to the 70 nations of the globe (comp. Godet, Commentaire sur l’évangile de Luc, 1870, ii. p. 21). And there is actually a deeper sense in the view; that the total number of the nations of the earth is = the sacred ideal number 70 (7 x 10, the humanly complete, elevated and multiplied by the power of the Divine Spirit; comp. my Theol. naturalis, i. p. 716). And why should we not have as good a right, in the popular phraseology of Hebrew antiquity, to speak of the “70 nations of the world,” as of the 4 winds, the 4 quarters of heaven, the 12 signs of the zodiac, without uttering anything untrue or against nature, though such expressions may have no exact scientific basis? There seems then to be no reason to hesitate, from a dogmatic-apologetic point of view, to acknowledge that the number 70 was intended by the author to apply to the descendants of Noah. The only thing that can be said against it is, the absence of an express intimation, such as Matthew gives at the close of his genealogy of Jesus, in the form of a recapitulation of the several groups of numbers (1 Chronicles 1:17). Yet the pedigree by Luke (1 Chronicles 3:23-24) wants also such a recapitulation, though its symbolic construction out of 77 = 7 x 11 members is no less certain than that of Matthew. If Keil objects to our view, which is that of almost all recent expositors, that the number 70 is only obtained by making, “in the sons of Shem, the personal names Arpakshad, Shelah, Heber, Peleg, and Joktan to be names of nations, contrary to the view of Genesis, in which the five names denote persons, the ancestors of the nations descending from Heber through Peleg and Joktan,” this refutes nothing. For the number 70 is obtained throughout, and not merely in the case of Arpakshad, etc., by the addition of all names, those of the patriarchs, who only became nations in their sons, as well as these sons themselves, and their descendants. In other words, it is quite reasonable, and corresponds entirely with the spirit and method of the genealogizing ethnography of the Hebrews, to regard all higher or lower members of old pedigrees as in abstracto equivalent factors and representatives of definite co-ordinate races in the subsequent history, though this view may be in concreto impracticable. Comp., moreover, the evangelical-ethical principles under 1 Chronicles 9:0.

§ II. The Patriarchs from Shem to Abraham, and the Descendants of the latter through Ishmael, Keturah, Edom (70 stems in all): 1 Chronicles 1:24-42

1. From Shem to Abraham: 1 Chronicles 1:24-27.—The 10 members of this line are exactly coincident with Genesis 9:10-29, though with the omission of all historical details. And the Chronist follows the genealogical account of the Masoretic text, which represents Abraham himself as the tenth of the line, not that of the Sept., which inserts a Kenan (Καϊνᾶν) between Arpakshad and Shelah, thus following a tradition that regarded Terah, the father of Abraham, as the tenth from Shem. Bertheau (in the annual report of the “Deutsche Morgenl. Gesellschaft,” 1845–46) has attempted to make it probable that this tradition was the older, and that the name קֵינָן stood originally in the text of Genesis.

1 Chronicles 1:27. Abram, perhaps for the sake of brevity, and to avoid all needless accumulation of names, afterwards (from Genesis 17:5) Abraham, in which the author, in his brief manner, notices the change of name, is alone named as a son of Terah, Nahor and Haran and their posterity being omitted.

2. Abraham’s Sons and their Descendants: 1 Chronicles 1:28-34.—They fall, like those of Noah and Terah, into three stocks or branches under Ishmael, Keturah, and Isaac. The Chronist places the former groups first, because, like the genealogists in the primeval history, he wished first to enumerate the remote stocks, and then to take up the people of God. The same process from without to within placed the genealogy of the Japhethites and Hamites before the Shemites, and determines, further, that of Isaac’s posterity the Edomite branch is first treated, and then the Israelite.

a. Ishmael and his Twelve Sons: 1 Chronicles 1:29-31.—The twelve names agree exactly with the list in Genesis 25:12-16, with respect to the order as well as the words. And the introductory אֵלֶּה תּוֹלְדוֹת, 1 Chronicles 1:29, the predicate בְּכוֹר, “the firstborn” before Ishmael (comp. Genesis 25:13), and the closing formula, “These are the sons of Ishmael” (1 Chronicles 1:31; comp. Genesis 25:16), show how closely the author adheres to the Mosaic record. The designation of Ishmael as the “first-born” is only to be explained by this faithful adherence to the original, not by the wish of the author to justify his placing the Ishmaelites before the descendants of Israel (as Bertheau seems to think); for this position needed no justification, because it necessarily followed from the genealogical method of our author (see on 1 Chronicles 1:28). [In our author’s version of 1 Chronicles 1:29, “the first-born” is made to refer to Nebaioth, and not to Ishmael, as above. This seems to be correct.—J. G. M.]

b. The Descendants of Keturah: 1 Chronicles 1:32-33.—The six sons and seven grandsons of Abraham by Keturah are not given literally as in Genesis 25:1-4. On the contrary, the Chronist has left out three great-grandsons there named—Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim, descendants of Dedan—whether intentionally, on account of the plural form of the names, or because he did not find them in his copy of Genesis, must remain undetermined. That Medan and Midian, 1 Chronicles 1:32, are only different pronunciations of the same name (comp. Genesis 37:28; Genesis 37:36), the number of the sons of Keturah was originally and properly five, and the total number of her descendants only twelve, is an arbitrary conjecture of Bertheau, while pushing too far the endeavour to find certain symbolic numbers everywhere.

c. The Two Sons of Isaac, Esau, and Israel, and the Descendants of the former: 1 Chronicles 1:34-42.—And Abraham begat Isaac. This notice, leading back to the statement in 1 Chronicles 1:28, appears occasioned by Genesis 25:19, where the same words (only with הוֹלִיד for וַיּוֹלֶד) occur immediately after the enumeration of the sons of Keturah. This reference to Abraham was not in itself necessary here; but comp. also the reference to Shem above in 1 Chronicles 1:24.

1 Chronicles 1:25. Esau’s sons, enumerated exactly after Genesis 36:4-5 (though without naming their mothers, the three wives of Esau), as in general the author henceforth reports very closely from Genesis 36:0, following which also he annexes the Seirites or aborigines of Idumæa to the proper Edomites, and treats both as belonging to one and the same family of nations.

1 Chronicles 1:36. Sons of Eliphaz. These, five in number, are given exactly as in Genesis 36:11; for the name of the third, Zephi, is only a by-form of Zepho, as in 1 Chronicles 1:40 a Shephi appears in place of the Shepho, Genesis 36:23; comp. the Crit. Remark. But if the names Timnah and Amalek are annexed, apparently as sons of Eliphaz, this is probably a similar breviloquence to that in 1Ch 1:4; 1 Chronicles 1:17; the author presumes it sufficiently known to his readers, that Timnah, Amalek’s mother, was not a son, but rather a concubine of Eliphaz (another wife besides Adah, the mother of those five sons first named); comp. Genesis 36:12. So have the Sept. (in the cod. Alex.) and numerous older Jewish and Christian expositors solved the difficulty, and of the moderns, J. H. Michaelis, Starke, Keil, etc.; whereas Bertheau, having regard to 1 Chronicles 1:39; 1 Chronicles 1:51, where actually a separate stem and then a stem-prince Timnah are counted, prefers to assume that “the Chronist, interpreting the genealogical language, and perceiving in the family names the stem-relations that lie at their root, has explained the statements of Genesis concerning Timnah, so that by them the connection of two stems Timnah and Amalek with the other stems of Eliphaz shall be indicated, and they are accordingly counted in the same line with these stems as sons of Eliphaz.” This assumption seems to us too artificial, and ascribes to the Chronist a higher degree of bold independence and wilfulness in his operations than is admissible or consistent with his evident piety and conscientiousness in recording the facts of primeval history that were handed down to him.

1 Chronicles 1:37. Sons of Reuel. These are entered four in number, exactly as in Genesis 36:13. There are thus in all 10 grandsons (6 sons of Eliphaz and 4 of Reuel) who are assigned by our author to Esau, and who, with the three sons of Jeush, Jalam, and Korah (sons of Oholibamah), form the 13 family or stem chiefs (φύλαρχοι, Sept. Genesis 36:15) of the Edomites. Against Bertheau, who would here make out a 12 from the 13 families, by reducing Amalek, 1 Chronicles 1:36, to a secondary place, comp. Keil, p. 1Chr 36: “Neither Chronicles nor Genesis knows 12 tribes of Edom, but both books give 13 grandsons (rather descendants) of Esau; and these 13 grandsons are, by the report of Genesis, the 13 phylarchs of Edom which are distributed among the 3 wives of Esau, so that the 13 families may be reduced to 3 stems. And in Genesis, Amalek is not placed in a looser connection with the remaining tribes, but on the contrary, is not only, 1 Chronicles 1:12, counted with the sons of Adah, perhaps because Timnah stood to Adah, the wife of Esau, in the same relation as Hagar to Sarah, but also in 1 Chronicles 1:16 is reckoned to the dukes of the sons of Eliphaz. Thus Genesis counts not 5, but 6 stems of Eliphaz; and Chronicles has not fully effaced the number 12, as Bertheau further asserts, but the 13 sons and grandsons of Esau, who became phylarchs, are fully entered, and only their designation as אַלּוּפֵי בְנֵי עֵשָׂו left out, because unnecessary for the genealogy of the descendants of Esau.”

1 Chronicles 1:38-42. The 7 sons of Seir and their descendants, or the (mingled since Esau’s invasion with his descendants) Seirite or Horite aborigines of Idumæa according to their tribes. These aborigines of the mountains of Edom, though not of Abrahamic descent, yet, from their gradually formed connection and intermingling with the descendants of Esau, are so reckoned as if they belonged to the Edomite family of nations. And this occurs not only here in Chronicles, where they are introduced as בְּנֵי שֵׂעִיר, but also in Genesis 30:20-30, where they are called חֹרִי, “dwellers in caves, Troglodytes.” Comp. also on these Horites, our exp. of the book of Job, vol. 10. of the Bibelw. p. 238.—The names of the seven sons of Seir, that is, the seven Seirite chiefs, agree exactly with Genesis; and likewise their descendants, in number 18 men and 1 woman, Timnah, 1 Chronicles 1:39. Only Oholibamah, a second Seiritess named in Genesis 36:25, has been passed over by the Chronist, according to his wont in general to reckon only male members in his genealogical lists. On the deviations of some forms from the text of Genesis, as Homam, 1 Chronicles 1:39, for Hemam; Aljan, 1 Chronicles 1:40, for Alwan, etc., see Crit. Note.—The total names enumerated from Abraham amount to about 70, whether the two Timnahs, the mother of Amalek, 1 Chronicles 1:36, and the sister of Lotan, 1 Chronicles 1:39, or the Edomite and the Seirite Timnah be included, in which case there are exactly 70, or both or one of them be excluded from the number, and so then be only 68 or 69. Bertheau (whom Kamphausen, in Bunsen’s Bibelw., follows), counting in the former way, finds 12 descendants of Esau, 13 of Keturah, 2 of Isaac, 16 of Esau, and 27 of Seir, and so obtains the number 70; Keil, in the latter way, regards the Seirite Timnah as only mentioned by the way, and therefore excluded, and consequently reckons only 26 descendants of Seir, and in all, only 69 descendants of Abraham. Though the latter be right in many of his objections to Bertheau’s mode of reckoning (for instance, its exclusion of Ishmael, and inclusion of Esau and Israel), yet he certainly goes too far when he utterly denies the design of the Chronist to follow up his list of 70 descendants of Noah with the same number of those of Abraham. This design, though not carried out with mathematical exactness, and therefore not expressly mentioned here (any more than in 1 Chronicles 1:5 ff.), appears in fact to have had a distinct influence on the selection and arrangement of his genealogical lists. The incidental agreement of the number in 1 Chronicles 1:29-42 with that in 1 Chronicles 1:5-23 shows this, just as the decade of the patriarchs between Noah and Abraham, in its agreement with that of the patriarchs before Noah (comp. 1 Chronicles 1:24-27 with 1 Chronicles 1:1-4), points to design.

Appendix.—The Edomite Kings and Chiefs till the beginning of Kingdom of Israel: 1 Chronicles 1:43-54

1. The Kings: 1 Chronicles 1:43-51 a.—A nearly literal repetition from Genesis 36:31-39; only the words וַיִּמְלֹךְ בֶּֽאֱדֹם (1 Chronicles 1:43) before בֶּלַע, and in 1 Chronicles 1:51 after בַּעַל חָנָן, the words בֶּן־עַכְבּוֹר are left out, which, however, many Mss. here also supply. On the variants in Ajuth, 1 Chronicles 1:46, and in Hadad and Pai, 1 Chronicles 1:50, see Crit. Notes.

1 Chronicles 1:51. And Hadad died. This statement (וַיָּמָת חֲדַד) is wanting in the parallel texts of Genesis, where, after entering Hadad (or rather Hadar) as the last king, the formula וְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת serves to introduce the then following list of the phylarchs and their seats. By the sentence “and Hadad died,” along with the following, “and there were” (וַיִּהְיוּ), this list of phylarchs is here brought into a far closer connection with the foregoing register of kings than in Genesis,—into a connection, indeed, which at first sight looks as if the Chronist intended to represent the dukes as successors of the kingdom terminated by Hadad’s death, and so report a transition from the monarchic to the aristocratic form of government in Edom. This supposition, however, which Bertheau, Kamph., and others defend, is not absolutely necessary; the ו consec. in וַיִּהְיוּ “may express merely the order of thought; that is, may connect the mention of the dukes only in thought with the enumeration of the kings, or intimate that besides the kings there were also dukes, who could govern the nation and country” (Keil). The latter supposition is the more probable, as the following list is owing to a statistical and chronographic rather than a genealogical tendency, as will presently be shown.

2. The Dukes: 1 Chronicles 1:51-54.—This list agrees in the order and form of the 11 names given exactly (on the variant Aljah for Alwah, 1 Chronicles 1:51, see Crit. Note) with Genesis 36:40-43. Yet it has received from the Chronist another superscription and subscription, of which the former runs thus: “and there were the dukes of Edom” (אַלּוּפֵי אֱדוֹם instead of א׳ עֵשָׂו, Genesis 36:40, the name of the people and land taking the place of the n. propr. of the patriarch), and the latter: “these are the dukes of Edom” (for which that of Genesis is more circumstantial: “These are the dukes of Edom according to their habitations in the land of their possessions: this is Esau, the father of Edom”). And the list treats not so much of the enumeration of certain persons as of that of the seats of certain (perhaps hereditary) dukes of the nation or phylarchs, according to which they are briefly named, “the duke of Timnah,” etc. The list has thus a geographical, not a genealogical import; it is a list of neighbouring principalities of Edom, not of Edomite princes. The number eleven of these principalities forms an approximative parallel with the number twelve of the tribes of Israel; it agrees also nearly with the number of the descendants of Esau above named (1 Chronicles 1:36 ff.): but it could only by violent means and arbitrary hypotheses be made to agree with this number, or reduced to the number twelve (comp. the remarks against Berth. on 1 Chronicles 1:37).


[1] דִּיפַת is certainly an error of the pen for ריפת, Genesis 10:3, which is found here in many mss. and editions, as well as in the Sept. and the Vulg.

[2] רוֹדָנִים appears to be an error of the pen or an arbitrary amendment for דֹּדָנִים, Genesis 10:4, which many mss. and older editions present here also. But comp. the exposition.

[3]So (לוּדִים) the Keri in our passage, which, however, may rest on a confirmation with Genesis 10:13. The Kethib has לוּדִיִּים, a long plural form, which is to לוּדִים as in English Lydian would be to Lydian, or as in Hebrew כֻּשִׁיִּים, Amos 9:12, to כּוּשִׁים, 2 Chronicles 21:6.

[4]On מֶשֶׁךְ instead of מַשׁ, Genesis 10:23, see the Commentary.

[5]Instead of Aljan (עַלְיָן) many mss. have Alvan (עַלְוָן), in accordance with Genesis 36:23.

[6]For שְׁפִי some mss. have שְׁפוֹ, as in Genesis 36:23. So in 1 Chronicles 1:36, where the name צְפִי is in a number of mss. changed into צְפוֹ, as in Genesis 36:11.

[7]For חַמְרָן a considerable number of mss. have חֶמְדָּן, as in Genesis 36:26.

[8]For the Kethib עָיּוּת the Keri has עֲוִית, as in Genesis 36:35.

[9]For הֲדַד some mss. read הֲדַר, which is the usual reading in Genesis 36:39, while there also several mss. present הדד. Hadad’s city פָּעִי, which, in the same parallel, is פָּעוּ, some good codices here also change into פָּעוּ.

[10]For עַלְיָה the Keri gives עַלְוָה, according to Genesis 36:40.

[11]Comp. also Wellhausen, De gentibus et fam. judæis, etc., p.4, where with respect to the genealogical lists in the beginning of Chronicles, it, is well remarked: Quo fit. ut cæmeterii quasi speciem nobis præbeant hæc capita cipporum pleni: fuit ætas, cui breves suffecere tituli ad resuscitandam sepultorum memoriam;—interjectis sæculis, nedum millenniis, leguntur tituli, sed quo referantur, quid sibi velint, nescitur.

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 1". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/1-chronicles-1.html. 1857-84.
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