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The genealogy of families, from Adam to Abraham, forms the contents of this chapter, containing a period of nearly 2000 years.
1 Chronicles 1:1
I detain the Reader in the very opening of the Book of the Chronicles, to call his attention to that feature of it, for which the Chronicles themselves are valuable; namely, to direct the Reader's observation to the pedigree of the Lord Jesus. Here is no mention of Cain Or Abel, the two first sons of Adam, because neither of them is in the genealogy of Christ. Abel died childless, and Cain belonged to a very different stock. The seed of the woman was the great promise of the Bible. From Adam to Seth, therefore, the tracing of that seed is to be made.
Observe how careful the sacred genealogy is, in its progress from Adam to Noah.
The sons of Japheth, which gave rise to the Gentile church, are first mentioned, perhaps because, as in the after ages, they became interested in Christ, though not in the line of his genealogy; honorable mention is made of them in the record.
The genealogy of Ham is also introduced before that of Shem, that, perhaps, the sacred Writer having dispatched the two sons of Noah and their race, from whom the Messiah was not to spring, he might carry on the genealogy in the line of Shem, the other son of Noah, from whom after the flesh the Messiah was to spring.
It is truly interesting to observe, how faithfully the record of the genealogy from Adam to Abraham is preserved. What nation, beside the Jewish, can boast of so ancient and so correct a record? And Reader! think how lost to all sense of truth, as well as gratitude, must have been the Jews, who, with this record in their hand, could venture to say concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, when appearing before them, as the descendant of Abraham after the flesh, As for this fellow, we know not whence he is. John 9:29 . I would desire the Reader to pause, and contemplate with me, one thought in the review which ariseth out of these verses. How many ages are comprised in a little compass! Here is a period of nearly 2000 years, and it is contained in only seven and twenty short verses!
I beg the Reader, to observe with me, that the great object in the Chronicles being to preserve in the mind the lineal descent from Adam to Christ, the sacred Writer, in this instance, as in the instance before in the race of Noah, first dismisses in a short way the stock of Abraham, after the ordinary course of nature, to dwell more largely hereafter on the seed according to grace. Hence the children of Ishmael, are taken notice of before those of Isaac.
Here again, after mentioning the sons of Isaac, Esau, and Israel, the sacred Historian takes up in a short view Esau's posterity before that he enters upon that of Israel, and therefore reserves the history of the seed of Israel, for the subject of the next chapter. It is well worthy the earnest attention of the Reader, that as the promise was to be established in Isaac and his seed, and the son of the bond-woman was not to be heir with the son of the free-woman, hence the posterity of Ishmael and of Esau, are just set down to show the faithfulness of God's promise to Abraham, and his love to Isaac, in the accomplishment of temporal blessings to them; but the grand subject of the whole genealogy carried on in a regular progression from Adam to Israel, through all the intermediate generations, which followed in the common order of nature. Gen_17:20; Gen_25:5-6 ; Galatians 4:28-31 .
READER! pause over this chapter, and mark the several important instructions it contains. What a subject of wonder, of humiliation, and of praise, is here! What wonder is opened to our contemplation in the astonishing succession of so many generations! What multitudes have sprung from one stock! And what an immense and incalculable congregation will it be, that shall; at length, be brought to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, when not one, from Adam to the consummation of all things, shall be found wanting. What humiliation also, is in the subject of the genealogy of mankind, when we call to mind, that the whole race is alike polluted and fallen: All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none that doeth good, no not one. And what a subject of praise doth this furnish, in beholding the long-suffering and patience of the Lord, in preserving the race of men from father to son, notwithstanding the universal depravity of all!
But, chiefly and above all, while we admire and adore the divine goodness and mercy in his condescension to the sons of men, think, Reader, of the everlasting love of God to our nature, in the provision made for the recovery of man from the fall, by the gracious interposition, benignity, and love of the Lord Jesus Christ! Oh! how highly ought we to prize the genealogy of Him, after the flesh, who came in the fulness of time, to repair the desolations of many generations, and to restore perfect order among all the works of God. Hail, thou holy, blessed, precious Jesus! Thou wast indeed free from the taint of the fallen race thou camest to redeem. Thou wast holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens. And how precious the thought, that thy righteousness, and thy blood, are the effectual source and cause of all our mercy. Blessed be our Jesus, that amidst all the dying circumstances of all generations, thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. Though all things perish, yet thou remainest: and though we all wax old as doth a garment, and as a vesture are we changed, yet thou art the same, and thy years do not fail. Give us, precious Jesus, to rejoice in the everlasting duration of thyself and thy kingdom, and to look beyond the grave with this assured hope, that because thou livest, thy people shall live also. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Chronicles 1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent