These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun,
Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
The sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah: which three were born unto him of the daughter of Shua the Canaanitess. And Er, the firstborn of Judah, was evil in the sight of the LORD; and he slew him.1 Chronicles 2:3. The sons of Judah — He puts Judah first, because the best part of the right of the firstborn, namely, the dominion, was conferred on him, Genesis 49:8; in consequence of which, his tribe obtained a pre- eminence among, and a kind of superiority over the rest, even before the time of David. And from David’s time, it is without doubt, that till the Babylonish captivity a kingly power continued in this tribe; Zerubbabel, also, who was their leader, when they returned to their own land, was of the same tribe. The chief reason, however, why the genealogy of Judah is set down first, is because the Messiah was to descend from him.
And Tamar his daughter in law bare him Pharez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five.
The sons of Pharez; Hezron, and Hamul.
And the sons of Zerah; Zimri, and Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Dara: five of them in all.1 Chronicles 2:6. And Dara — If these be the same who are mentioned as the sons of Mahol, (1 Kings 4:31,) either the same man had two names, Zerah and Mahol, as was usual among the Hebrews, or one of these was their immediate father, and the other their grandfather. These are named, because they were the glory of their father’s house. When the Holy Ghost would magnify the wisdom of Solomon, he saith, he was wiser than these four men. That four brothers should be so eminent, was a rare thing.
And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.1 Chronicles 2:7. The sons of Carmi — This man is here mentioned, because he was the son of Zimri, who was also called Zabdi, Joshua 7:18. Achar, the troubler of Israel — He who in Joshua 7. is called Achan, is here, by a small variation, elegantly and significantly called Achar, which means troubler: because he had brought Israel into great danger and distress, by the sin he committed.
And the sons of Ethan; Azariah.
The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai.1 Chronicles 2:9-10. And Ram — Who is mentioned in the genealogy of our Saviour, (Matthew 1:3-4,) and called Aram. Nashon, prince of the children of Judah — Namely, when, being come out of Egypt, they pitched under their several standards, Numbers 2:3.
And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;
And Nahshon begat Salma, and Salma begat Boaz,
And Boaz begat Obed, and Obed begat Jesse,
And Jesse begat his firstborn Eliab, and Abinadab the second, and Shimma the third,1 Chronicles 2:13-15. Eliab — Called also Elihu, 1 Chronicles 27:18, unless that was another son of Jesse, as some think, not mentioned elsewhere; which would make the number to be eight, according to 1 Samuel 16:10; 1 Samuel 17:12. Or that Elihu, although there called the brother of David, might perhaps only be his kinsman, according to the usual language of Scripture. David the seventh — David was certainly the youngest son of Jesse, 1 Samuel 16:11. And if, as seems probable, one of them died soon after the time when they were said to he eight, he would of course be reckoned as the seventh.
Nethaneel the fourth, Raddai the fifth,
Ozem the sixth, David the seventh:
Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah; Abishai, and Joab, and Asahel, three.
And Abigail bare Amasa: and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmeelite.1 Chronicles 2:17-18. Jether the Ishmaelite — By birth or habitation, but by profession an Israelite, 2 Samuel 17:25. And her sons — The sons of Azubah, who is by way of distinction called his wife, when Jerioth probably was only his concubine, and, it may seem, barren: therefore, upon Azubah’s death he married another wife, 1 Chronicles 2:19. And those other sons of this Caleb, mentioned 1 Chronicles 2:42, are his sons by some other wife distinct from all these.
And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon.
And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur.
And Hur begat Uri, and Uri begat Bezaleel.
And afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was threescore years old; and she bare him Segub.1 Chronicles 2:21. The father of Gilead — It is doubtful whether the word Gilead is here the name of a man, or of the country so called: if it be the latter, the expression means, the prince of Gilead, as the word father often signifies: if the former, the Gilead intended must have been a person of noted valour, probably the great champion in those parts.
And Segub begat Jair, who had three and twenty cities in the land of Gilead.
And he took Geshur, and Aram, with the towns of Jair, from them, with Kenath, and the towns thereof, even threescore cities. All these belonged to the sons of Machir the father of Gilead.1 Chronicles 2:23. All these belonged to the sons of Machir — Partly to his own sons, and partly to his son-in-law Jair, who by reason of that dear affection which was between them, and his forsaking his own tribe and kindred to fight for them, and to dwell with them, is here reckoned as his own son.
And after that Hezron was dead in Calebephratah, then Abiah Hezron's wife bare him Ashur the father of Tekoa.1 Chronicles 2:24. The father of Tekoa — A known place, of which he is termed the father, because he was either the progenitor of the people who inhabited it, or their prince and ruler, or the builder of the city.
And the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were, Ram the firstborn, and Bunah, and Oren, and Ozem, and Ahijah.
Jerahmeel had also another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam.
And the sons of Ram the firstborn of Jerahmeel were, Maaz, and Jamin, and Eker.
And the sons of Onam were, Shammai, and Jada. And the sons of Shammai; Nadab, and Abishur.
And the name of the wife of Abishur was Abihail, and she bare him Ahban, and Molid.
And the sons of Nadab; Seled, and Appaim: but Seled died without children.
And the sons of Appaim; Ishi. And the sons of Ishi; Sheshan. And the children of Sheshan; Ahlai.1 Chronicles 2:31. The sons of Appaim, Ishi — The plural number is often used, when one son or daughter only is spoken of, for in that one, all the posterity are comprehended. Ahlai — It is plain from 1 Chronicles 2:34-35, that this Ahlai was not a son, but a daughter.
And the sons of Jada the brother of Shammai; Jether, and Jonathan: and Jether died without children.
And the sons of Jonathan; Peleth, and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel.
Now Sheshan had no sons, but daughters. And Sheshan had a servant, an Egyptian, whose name was Jarha.1 Chronicles 2:34. But daughters — We read of no more than one daughter that he had: but the writer speaks in the plural number, as before, 1 Chronicles 2:31. An Egyptian, whose name was Jarha — To whom, as being a proselyte to the Jewish religion, and a faithful servant, his master Sheshan first gave his freedom, and then his daughter in marriage.
And Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant to wife; and she bare him Attai.
And Attai begat Nathan, and Nathan begat Zabad,
And Zabad begat Ephlal, and Ephlal begat Obed,
And Obed begat Jehu, and Jehu begat Azariah,
And Azariah begat Helez, and Helez begat Eleasah,
And Eleasah begat Sisamai, and Sisamai begat Shallum,
And Shallum begat Jekamiah, and Jekamiah begat Elishama.
Now the sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel were, Mesha his firstborn, which was the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron.
And the sons of Hebron; Korah, and Tappuah, and Rekem, and Shema.
And Shema begat Raham, the father of Jorkoam: and Rekem begat Shammai.
And the son of Shammai was Maon: and Maon was the father of Bethzur.1 Chronicles 2:45. The father of Beth-zur — A place in Judah, (Joshua 15:58,) of which this Maon was the founder. The same is the meaning of the word father in several of the following verses. Madmannah, Machbenah, Gibea, &c, being the names not of persons, but of places.
And Ephah, Caleb's concubine, bare Haran, and Moza, and Gazez: and Haran begat Gazez.
And the sons of Jahdai; Regem, and Jotham, and Geshan, and Pelet, and Ephah, and Shaaph.
Maachah, Caleb's concubine, bare Sheber, and Tirhanah.
She bare also Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbenah, and the father of Gibea: and the daughter of Caleb was Achsah.
These were the sons of Caleb the son of Hur, the firstborn of Ephratah; Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim,
Salma the father of Bethlehem, Hareph the father of Bethgader.
And Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim had sons; Haroeh, and half of the Manahethites.
And the families of Kirjathjearim; the Ithrites, and the Puhites, and the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; of them came the Zareathites, and the Eshtaulites.1 Chronicles 2:53. The families of Kirjath-jearim; the Ithrites, &c. — The inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim were divided into several families, as Kimchi interprets it, and these here mentioned were the heads of families, denominated from Ithra or Jether, and Puhah, &c. As from Jimni came the family of the Jimnites, and from Beriah the Beriites, in Numbers 26:44. Of them came the Zareathites, &c. — Zarah and Eshtaul were two cities in the tribe of Judah, which were built by two persons of Kirjath-jearim of this name, who inhabited these places, and left two great families, who were from them called Zareathites and Eshtaulites.
The sons of Salma; Bethlehem, and the Netophathites, Ataroth, the house of Joab, and half of the Manahethites, the Zorites.1 Chronicles 2:54. The sons of Salma; Beth-lehem — That is, the inhabitants of Beth-lehem: and so of Ataroth, and the house of Joab, or, as it should rather be rendered, Beth-joab, for the writer is not speaking of a family, but of a place. The people of those towns, and the Manahethites, and the Zorites, were all the descendants of this Salma, the son of Caleb. So that, it appears, he had a very numerous posterity.
And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab.1 Chronicles 2:55. The families of the scribes — Either civil, who were public notaries, that wrote and signed legal instruments; or ecclesiastical. And these were either Levites or Simeonites, or rather Kenites, and are here mentioned not as if they were of the tribe of Judah, but because they dwelt among them, and probably were allied to them by marriages, and so in a manner incorporated with them.