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Bible Commentaries
1 Chronicles 7

Preacher's Complete Homiletical CommentaryPreacher's Homiletical

Verses 1-40

CRITICAL NOTES.] 1 Chronicles 7:1-5.—Issachar. A tribe of more than average strength, since the entire return from all the tribes, except Judah, was no more than 800,000 men (2 Samuel 24:9) [Speak. Com.]. In days of David, 1 Chronicles 7:2, probably from census taken by Joab


1 Chronicles 7:6-12.—Benjamin. Ten, Genesis 46:21; five, 1 Chronicles 8:1; three here, most eminent mentioned, or other families extinct. 1 Chronicles 7:7. Bela, list different from ch. 1 Chronicles 8:3-5 and from Numbers 26:40. “Probably persons mentioned not literally ‘sons,’ but among later descendants of Bela, chief men of family in time of David’s census” [Speak. Com.]. 1 Chronicles 7:10. Jediael, sons may include grandsons. 1 Chronicles 7:12. Three other sons of Benjamin named (cf. Numbers 26:39; Genesis 46:21; and ch. 1 Chronicles 8:5).

1 Chronicles 7:13.—Naphtali (cf. Genesis 46:24; Numbers 26:48). His territory originally included in Judah (Joshua 19:40).

1 Chronicles 7:14-19.—Manasseh. An intricate and defective passage, appears to refer to western side of Jordan; other side in ch. 1 Chronicles 5:23-26. 1 Chronicles 7:15. Daughters (cf. account Joshua 17:3-6; Numbers 26:33). 1 Chronicles 7:16-17. None of these mentioned elsewhere, unless “Bedan” is the “judge” of 1 Samuel 12:11. 1 Chronicles 7:19 “This paragraph is of peculiar interest as illustrating the freedom and independence with which sons of Israel moved in period before the new king arose that knew not Joseph” [Murphy].

1 Chronicles 7:20-29.—Ephraim. Difficult to solve the question of chronology and genealogy of this passage. The line of Shuthelah is traced to seventh generation, viz., to another Shuthelah. “Ezer and Elead, perhaps two brothers of the first Shuthelah, i.e., own sons of Ephraim.” Men of Gath, settled inhabitants (contrasted with strangers, nomadic Hebrews, Amalekites, &c.), attacked shepherds of Ephraim, and the conflict produced the usual result. 1 Chronicles 7:23. Beriah, “in evil,” some render “a gift,” to the house by the birth of another son. 1 Chronicles 7:24. Beth-horon (Joshua 10:10; Joshua 16:3-5; Joshua 18:13-14). 1 Chronicles 7:25-27. Two other sons of Ephraim added, Rephah and Resheph, from latter sprang Joshua (Jehovah, Saviour). Elishama, son of Ammihud, prince of Ephraim in time of Exodus (Numbers 1:10; Numbers 2:18). Non, for Nun (Numbers 13:8-16). 1 Chronicles 7:28-29. Possessions and boundaries of the two tribes here given.

1 Chronicles 7:30-40.—Asher. Sons, daughters, and grandsons, given as in Genesis 46:17 and partly Numbers 26:44, if we allow for slight changes of spelling in names.


REGISTERED SOLDIERS.—1 Chronicles 7:1-40

In this chapter a genealogy of those tribes only who were “mighty men of valour.”

I. Issachar, the industrious tribe (1 Chronicles 7:1-5).

1. Patient in labour. He possessed a fruitful district, willingly submitted to toil and tribute (cf. Genesis 49:14-15; Joshua 19:17-22).

2. Great in number (1 Chronicles 7:5).

3. Valiant in war (1 Chronicles 7:5).

II. Benjamin, the warlike tribe (1 Chronicles 7:6-12). Quick, rapacious, and powerful (Genesis 49:27; cf. Judges 5:14; Judges 20:16). Ehud, Saul, Jonathan. Paul from this tribe.

III. Naphtali, the heroic tribe (1 Chronicles 7:13). Beautiful and active, comparable to the gazelle (2 Samuel 2:18). Remarkable also for culture. “He giveth goodly words,” rich in poetry and speech (Genesis 49:21).

IV. Manasseh, the divided tribe (1 Chronicles 7:14-19). One half of the tribe on the other side Jordan (ch. 1 Chronicles 5:23). Division, perhaps, according to the fitness of those who composed it at the time. More warlike adapted to coast of Jordan.

V. Ephraim, the exalted tribe (1 Chronicles 7:20-29). Manasseh the elder, but Jacob gave the preference to Ephraim (Genesis 48:10-12). Great things declared of this tribe in best days. Here notice—

1. Its bereavement (1 Chronicles 7:21).

2. Its possessions (1 Chronicles 7:28).

3. Its vicissitudes. Its predicted greatness (Genesis 48:19) nipped in the bud. Powerless to protect itself, thrown into grief, humbled, yet comforted and distinguished in its sons (1 Chronicles 7:27).

VI. Asher, the undistinguished tribe (1 Chronicles 7:30-40). A few “choice and mighty men of valour,” but inferior in numbers, no great record in sacred history furnished no hero or judge to the nation. “One name only shines out of the general obscurity. The aged widow, ‘Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser,’ who, in the very close of the history, departed not from the Temple, ‘but served God with fastings and prayers day and night’ ” [Stanley].

FAMILY SORROW.—1 Chronicles 7:21-23

I. The cause of the sorrow. Gathites robbed sons of E. of their cattle, and slew them when defending themselves (1 Chronicles 7:21) Life often exposed and lost by wealth; the sword devours; death takes away children. Families bereaved and thrown into grief “Ephraim mourned many days.”

II. The Sympathy in the sorrow. “His brethren came to comfort him.” The affliction of others should excite our own pity and grief. Relatives and intimate friends should ever be ready “to comfort” the bereaved. Hard to bear the burden alone. “Bear ye one another’s burdens.” Most available and tender is the help of one “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.”

III. The remembrance of the sorrow. Afflictions may be overcome, but occasions of them never forgotten.

1. Perpetuated in joy. Another son born (1 Chronicles 7:23) in Beriah. Like Seth, another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew

2. Perpetuated in sorrow. “It went evil with his house.” Weeping yet rejoicing; humbled by the stroke, yet grateful for deliverance. God compensates for the loss in human sympathy, heavenly gifts, and perpetual joy. “The Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.”

“Shrink not from suffering. Each dear blow

From which the smitten spirit bleeds

Is but a messenger to show

The renovation which it needs.”


1 Chronicles 7:2. Valiant men of might.

1. Times of conflict. Days of war in Israel many. Thank God for peace and advance of civilisation and humanity.

2. Men fitted by God to engage in conflict. “Apt to the war and to battle” (1 Chronicles 7:40). Physical strength, skill in command, statesmanship, and success. The gift of God needful, and should be consecrated to holy purposes.

1 Chronicles 7:17. Bedan (cf. mentioned in 1 Samuel 12:11). A great deliverer in Israel.

1 Chronicles 7:24. Loss replaced or a famous daughter. Sherah, a virtuous woman, who built cities at her own charge (one Uzzen-sherah, named after her), and became an honour to the family. “A gallant woman, famous in her generation for beautifying and fortifying of sundry cities. Thus also God made up Ephraim’s loss” [Trapp].

1 Chronicles 7:22. A great leader; Joshua, son of Nun. In name and work a type of Jesus; yet a contrast (Joshua 13:8-16). Human life a register and rapid genealogy, but we have a place and work.

Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 7". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/phc/1-chronicles-7.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.
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