1 Chronicles 1
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
Adam, Sheth, Enosh,
1. Sheth, Enosh] “Seth, Enos,” the spellings given in Gen. (A.V.) are less correct. Generally speaking the forms of names in Genesis (A.V.) are derived from the Latin Vulgate, which in turn took them from the LXX., which again (owing to the shortcomings of the Greek alphabet as compared with the Hebrew) did not reproduce the Hebrew forms accurately.

Ch. 1. The Genealogies of the Peoples

1–4. A Genealogy from Adam to the Sons of Noah

The history proper does not begin till the death of Saul, but the historian acts in accordance with Eastern custom in connecting his history with the remote past by means of genealogies.

This first genealogy is taken from Genesis 5:3-32. The extremely concise form in which it is given is instructive as shewing how far the Chronicler could go in abbreviating his authorities.

Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered,
2. Kenan, … Jered] “Cainan, Jared,” the spellings given in Gen. (A.V.) are less correct.

Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech,
3. Henoch] “Enoch,” the spelling given in Gen. (A.V. and R.V.) is less correct. In 1 Chronicles 1:33 the R.V. gives the still better form “Hanoch,” but it does not venture to alter the form of the name of the famous Enoch (Genesis 5:21).

Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras.
5–7 (= Genesis 10:2-4). The Sons of Japheth

5. The sons of Japheth] The writer begins with the Northern “zone.”

Gomer] to he identified with the Gimirrai of the Assyrian monuments who in the seventh century b.c. inhabited the district afterwards called Cappadocia. Probably they are also to be identified with the Κιμμέριοι of the Greeks, who migrated from South Russia into Asia Minor under the pressure of the Scythians (Hdt. I. 103; IV. 11, 12; cp. Ezekiel 38:6, R.V.; Sayce, Higher Criticism and the Monuments, p. 124).

Magog] In Ezekiel 38 judgement is denounced on “Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal” (1 Chronicles 1:2, R.V.) who is represented as accompanied in his migration by the “hordes” of Gomer and Togarmah (1 Chronicles 1:6, R.V.), “all of them riding upon horses” (1 Chronicles 1:15). Magog represents therefore one of several tribes of Northern nomads (Scythians) known to Israel; see note below on Tubal and Meshech.

Madai] first mentioned in an inscription of the Assyrian king Rammannirar (Rimmon-nirari III.), who reigned b.c. 812–783. They are probably the Medes who lived in small communities (κατὰ κώμας, Hdt. I. 96) without a central government in Azerbaijan and Irak Ajemi, i.e. in the N.W. provinces of modern Persia.

Javan] the Ionians (Ἰάϝʹονες) who were already settled on the West coast of Asia Minor at the dawn of Greek history. Being a seafaring nation and having a slave-trade with Tyre (Ezekiel 27:13; Joel 3 [Hebrews 4:6 “Grecians”]), they became known to Israel at an early date. In the Book of Daniel the title “king of Javan” (1 Chronicles 8:21) is used of Alexander the Great; cp. “kingdom of Javan” (1 Chronicles 11:2) of the Macedonian Empire.

Tubal and Meshech] mentioned together Ezekiel 27:13; Ezekiel 32:26; Ezekiel 38:2-3; Ezekiel 39:1; and to be identified with the “Tabal” and “Muski” of the monuments, who in the times of the later Assyrian Empire lived as neighbours in the country N.E. of Cilicia; see Kiepert’s map in Schrader’s Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, vol. II. This Meshech is to be distinguished from the Meshech son of Shem mentioned in 1 Chronicles 1:17. At a later period the Τιβαρηνοί (= Tubal) lived in Pontus, and the Μόσχοι (= Meshech) further E. towards the Caspian. They were in the nineteenth nome of the Persian Empire (Hdt. iii. 94).

Tiras] No probable identification has been proposed for this name.

5–23. The “Genealogy” of the Nations

The table which follows is taken from Genesis 10:2-29. In the A.V. several variations between Gen. and Chron. occur in the spelling of proper names. In the R.V. the spelling has been made uniform.

The table is geographical rather than ethnological, i.e. neighbouring nations are regarded as having the same descent. The world, as known to the writer, is divided into three zones, of which the Northern is assigned to the Sons of Japheth (5–7), the Southern to the Sons of Ham (8–16), and the Central to the Sons of Shem (17–23). Had the arrangement been according to descent the Semitic Zidonians and the (probably Mongoloid) Hittites would not have been equally described as the offspring of Ham (cp. Sayce, Higher Criticism and the Monuments, p. 122).

It must be noticed, moreover, that the passage contains a general table with two appendices. The General Table is derived from the so-called “Priestly” narrative (PC) of the Hexateuch, while the appendices have been inserted by a Redactor from an earlier narrative, the “Prophetical” (J) (cp. Driver, Introduction, p. 13). Thus we get the following scheme:—

1 Chronicles 1:5-9.


  (General Table of the descendants of Japheth and Ham).



  (Appendix to the descendants of Ham).



  (General Table of the descendants of Shem).



  (Appendix to the descendants of Shem).

It must be further noted that though the Priestly source is assigned in its main stock by critics to “the exilic or early post-exilic period,” some elements in it belong to pre-exilic times. This table of the nations in particular agrees with the state of the world as referred to by Ezekiel, and is probably to be assigned to a date anterior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans. (Sayce in Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible, i. 347, suggests that the table is as early as the period of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Egyptian dynasties, when Palestine was under Egyptian suzerainty.)

And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah.
6. Ashchenaz] R.V. Ashkenaz, as in Genesis 10:3. In Jeremiah 51:27 “the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz” are to be summoned against Babylon. Ararat being Armenia, and Minni (= Mannai of the Assyrian monuments) being a neighbour of Armenia, Ashkenaz also is probably a neighbour of Armenia and to be sought on the N. or E. of Cappadocia, the seat of its “father” Gomer.

Riphath] so LXX. and Vulg. R.V. Diphath, following the Heb. text which however has a note added that another reading is “Riphath.” The letters D and R are easily confused in Hebrew. Nothing certain is known of either Riphath or Diphath.

Togarmah] In Ezekiel 27:14 Togarmah is mentioned (after “Javan, Tubal, and Meshech,” Ezekiel 27:13) as trading with Tyre in horses, war-horses and mules, and in Ezekiel 38:6 mention is made of “the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north, and all his hordes” in connexion with “Gomer and all his hordes.” The geographical position of Togarmah is unknown, but it must have been a neighbour of Gomer, Tubal and Meshech.

And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim.
7. Elishah] Ezekiel (1 Chronicles 27:7) addressing Tyre, “Blue and purple from the isles of Elishah was thine awning.” Elishah clearly denotes some islands or coastlands near the territory of Javan, but no closer identification is at present possible. If it be the Alashya of the Tell-el-Amarna Letters (cp. Flinders Petrie, Syria and Egypt, p. 161), it may be Cyprus or some part of Cyprus; cp. note on Kittim.

Tarshish] Probably Tarsus in Cilicia is meant, for the next people mentioned are its near neighbours, the Kittim, i.e. the inhabitants of Cyprus. Tarsus was early colonised by the Greeks and was the capital of the country as early as the close of the fifth century b.c. It is to be distinguished from the Tarshish (= Tartessus in the south of Spain) of Ezekiel 27:12.

Kittim] spelt in A.V. Chittim (R.V. Kittim) in Numbers 24:24; Isaiah 23:1; Isaiah 23:12; Jeremiah 2:10; Ezekiel 27:6, and Daniel 11:30. The inhabitants of Cyprus are meant, and “Kittim may be a reminiscence of Citium, the name of one of its oldest towns. In later times Kittim” (Chittim) is used vaguely of Western nations; “the ships of Kittim” (Daniel 11:30) are the Roman ships; “the land of Chittim” (Χεττιείμ, 1Ma 1:1) is Macedonia (ib. 1Ma 8:5).

Dodanim] R.V. Rodanim, so Heb. and LXX. (Ῥόδιοι). In the A.V. the spelling is made to agree with that of Genesis 10:4, where, however, the LXX. has again Ῥόδιοι. No doubt the Rhodians are meant; their island was celebrated even in the days of Homer. For the confusion of reading between D and R see note on Riphath, 1 Chronicles 1:6.

The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.
8, 9 (= Genesis 10:6-7). The Sons of Ham

8. The sons of Ham] Passing over for the present the Central “zone,” the writer now describes the Southern.

Cush] The Heb. name here transliterated Cush is several times translated “Ethiopia” (e.g. 2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 18:1) no doubt rightly. On the inscriptions of Assur-bani-pal frequent mention is made of Ku-su (Ku-u-su) “Ethiopia” in connexion with Mu-ṣur “Egypt.” The Cushites were not but a brown race like the modern Nubians (Soudanese).

Mizraim] is without doubt Egypt. In form the word seems to be dual, and it is generally said to mean the two Egypts, Upper and Lower. A singular “Mâzôr” is translated “Egypt” In 2 Kings 19:24 (R.V.). Neither form is the native name of the kingdom.

Put] In Genesis 10:6 “Phut” (R.V. Put). This people is mentioned among the helpers of Egypt in Jer., in Ezek. (twice) and in Nahum; “the Libyans” A.V. In Ezekiel 27:10 it appears among the auxiliary troops of Tyre; “Phut” A.V. In all these passages R.V. has “Put.” “Put” is probably the Punt of the Egyptian monuments, i.e. the Somali coast with the parts of the coast of Arabia nearest to it.

Canaan] In Genesis 9:25-27 “Canaan” is not the son of Ham, but takes Ham’s place among the sons of Noah. Canaan (“lowland”) is applied to the whole country W. of Jordan including the Hill Country of Judah and Ephraim, but perhaps the name was originally given to the sea-coast only. This coastland (including both Philistia and Phœnicia) had close political connexions with Egypt, being indeed Egypt’s highway to the E., and hence Canaan is described as the brother of Mizraim, although no near ethnological relationship existed between the mass of the population of Canaan and the Egyptians.

And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan.
9. the sons of Cush] According to some authorities Seba and Havilah are to be sought in Africa on the W. coast of the Red and the Gulf of Aden, while Sabta, Raamah, and Sabtecha (R.V. Sabteca) are to be sought in Arabia. According to another view (Sayce, Higher Criticism, p. 133) all five tribes belonged to Arabia.

Seba] In Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 45:14 Seba (the Sabeans) is mentioned along with Egypt and Cush, and in Psalm 72:10 along with Sheba. The first two passages suggest Africa, the third Arabia as Seba’s home.

Sheba and Dedan] The same two names occur together in 1 Chronicles 1:32 as descendants of Shem through Jokshan. Possibly the same two tribes are meant in both places, and Sheba and Dedan were of mixed origin, Hamitic and Semitic.

And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth.
10–16 (= Genesis 10:8-18 b). Appendix. Other Descendants of Ham

10. And Cush begat Nimrod] In the parallel passage of Gen. Nimrod is described as having founded a kingdom in Babylonia and as having subsequently occupied Assyria (1 Chronicles 10:10-11, R.V.). In 1 Chronicles 1:17 (= Genesis 10:22) however, the inhabitants of these two countries (“Asshur, Arphaxad”) are assigned to Shem. Either Nimrod represents the pre-Semitic inhabitants who were perhaps Hamitic, or Cush the father of Nimrod is wrongly identified with Cush son of Ham. The latter supposition is more probable, and Cush may stand for the “Kasi” who gave a dynasty to Babylonia which lasted (it is said) from b.c. 1806 to 1230 (Sayce, Higher Criticism p. 148).

began to be mighty upon the earth] Cp. Genesis 10:9-12.

And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim,
11. Ludim] reckoned in Jeremiah 46:9 and Ezekiel 30:5 (R.V. “Lud”) among the auxiliary troops of Egypt; they are no doubt the Lydians. Gyges of Lydia in the seventh century b.c. helped to make Egypt independent by sending forces to help Psammetichus; and Lydians were permanently retained in the bodyguard of the Egyptian king. See also 1 Chronicles 1:17, note on Lud. Of the Anamim, Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, nothing is certainly known.

And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim.
12. Pathrusim] the inhabitants of Pathros (Isaiah 11:11), i.e. Upper Egypt.

Casluhim] not identified.

of whom came the Philistines] R.V. from whence. Elsewhere (Jeremiah 47:4; Amos 9:7; cp. Deuteronomy 2:23) the Philistines are said to have come from Caphtor; and it is possible that this clause has been misplaced and that it should follow Caphtorim.

Caphthorim] R.V. Caphtorim. Perhaps Crete is meant by Caphtor, and the inhabitants of Crete by Caphtorim, but nothing is certainly known of either word.

And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth,
13. Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn] From the time of David downwards Tyre takes precedence of Zidon in any mention of the Phœnician cities in the O.T., but Zidon may still have been the older of the two cities, as indeed the Roman historian Justin (1 Chronicles 18:3) asserts. So we find the Phœnicians in the earlier books of the O.T. called Zidonians, not Tyrians (e.g. Jdg 3:3; 1 Kings 5:6).

Heth] i.e. the Hittites, who for centuries were the great power of Northern Syria, having their capital at Kadesh in the Orontes valley and a territory reaching from the Orontes to the Euphrates. Only an offshoot from them seems to have settled in Palestine.

The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite,
14. the Jebusite] Jdg 1:21; 2 Samuel 5:6.

the Amorite] Numbers 13:29; Numbers 21:21; Jdg 1:35.

And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite,
15. the Hivite] In Joshua 11:3, the Hivites are placed in the extreme N. of the land, “the Hivite under Hermon” (Heb. not LXX.). The Arkite and Sinite lived in Lebanon, the Arvadite (cp. Ezekiel 27:8) on the sea-coast N. of Gebal (Byblus), the Zemarite a little to the S. of the Arvadite, and the Hamathite furthest to the north on the Orontes.

And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite.
The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.
17 (= Genesis 10:22-23). The Sons of Shem

17. The sons of Shem] These occupied the middle geographical “zone.”

Elam] “Semites neither in blood nor in speech” (Sayce, Higher Criticism, p. 122). If this be so, the reason of their being reckoned to Shem must be that they were in the geographical zone which belonged to the Semites.

Asshur] The Assyrians, who spoke a Semitic dialect and were doubtless Semites.

Arphaxad] R.V. Arpachshad. The second half of the word (“chshad”) contains the name of the Casdim, the “Chaldeans” or “Chaldees” of the A.V.

Lud] Perhaps the Lydians. In 1 Chronicles 1:11, which is an extract from an earlier document (“J”), Ludim (“the Lydians”) are reckoned as the children of Mizraim (Egypt). Lydia itself was in the Japhetic “zone,” but the people may have been recognised as Semites independently of their geographical position.

Aram] the “Syrians” of the A.V.; better called Aramaeans. In Damascus they held an independent power for centuries and were constantly at war with Israel. Further north they seem to have been under the hegemony of the Hittites.

Uz] From Genesis 10:23 it appears that in Chron. the words “And the children of Aram[1]” have dropped out, so that “Uz” etc. appear as the immediate descendants of Shem.

[1] The Alexandrine MS (A) of the LXX. has the words.

Neither Uz nor the three following names have been satisfactorily identified. For “Meshech” Genesis 10:2 (Heb. not LXX.) reads “Mash.”

And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber.
18–23 (= Genesis 10:24-29). The Descent of the South Arabian Tribes

18. Eber] The Heb. word usually means “the land beyond.” Perhaps here we have a personification of the population beyond the Euphrates.

And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother's name was Joktan.
19. the earth was divided] i.e. there was a great dispersion of the population of the earth. Peleg means “Separation” or “Division.”

And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah,
20. Joktan begat Almodad] All the names of the sons of Joktan here given, so far as they have been identified, represent peoples situated in S. Arabia or on the W. coast of the Red Sea lying over against S. Arabia.

Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah,
And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba,
And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan.
Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah,
24–27. The Descent of Abraham from Shem

These verses are compressed within the smallest limits from Genesis 11:10-26. For another example of this extreme compression compare 1 Chronicles 1:1-4.

Eber, Peleg, Reu,
Serug, Nahor, Terah,
Abram; the same is Abraham.
The sons of Abraham; Isaac, and Ishmael.
These are their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam,
28–31. The Descent of the Ishmaelite Tribes from Abraham (= Genesis 25:12-16)

29. Nebajoth] Cp. Isaiah 60:7.

Kedar] Isaiah 21:13-17.

Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema,
30. Dumah] Isaiah 21:11.

Massa] Proverbs 31:1 (R.V. marg.).

Hadad] The name begins with the Heb. letter Ḥçth and therefore differs from the Hadad of 1 Chronicles 1:46 and of 1 Chronicles 1:50 and of 2 Chronicles 16:2 in which the first letter is .

Tema] Isaiah 21:14.

Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael.
31. Jetur, Naphish] 1 Chronicles 5:18-22.

Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan.
32. Medan, Midian] Kindred tribes often bore names only slightly differing in form.

Midian] In Jdg 8:24 the Midianites are reckoned as Ishmaelites.

Sheba and Dedan] The same two names occur in 1 Chronicles 1:9 among the descendants of Ham. See note there.

32, 33. The Descent of Arabian Tribes from Abraham through Keturah (= Genesis 25:1-4)

And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these are the sons of Keturah.
33. Ephah] Isaiah 60:6.

Henoch] R.V. Hanoch, as Genesis 25:4. Cp. 1 Chronicles 1:3.

And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel.
34–37. The Descent of the tribes of Edom from Abraham (Cp. Genesis 36:10-14)

35. Jaalam] R.V. Jalam.

The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah.
The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek.
36. Teman] Amos 1:11-12; Habakkuk 3:3. The word means South, and is applied in the first passage to Edom itself, in the second to the wilderness of Edom, both being south of Canaan.

Zephi] In Genesis 36:11, “Zepho.”

Kenaz] perhaps the same person as the father of Othniel (1 Chronicles 4:13).

Amalek] Perhaps the eponymous ancestor of the Amalekites; cp. 1 Chronicles 1:12 of Genesis 36 with 1 Chronicles 1:16.

The sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.
And the sons of Seir; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, and Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan.
38–42. The Genealogy of the Horite Inhabitants of Seir (Cp. Genesis 36:20-27)

38. The sons of Seir] Chron. omits the further description given in Gen. “the Horite, the inhabitants of the land,” words which shew clearly that these “sons of Seir” were not descendants of Esau, but aboriginal inhabitants of the land.

And the sons of Lotan; Hori, and Homam: and Timna was Lotan's sister.
The sons of Shobal; Alian, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. And the sons of Zibeon; Aiah, and Anah.
40. Aiah and Anah] See Genesis 36:24.

The sons of Anah; Dishon. And the sons of Dishon; Amram, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran.
The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, and Jakan. The sons of Dishan; Uz, and Aran.
Now these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the children of Israel; Bela the son of Beor: and the name of his city was Dinhabah.
43–51a. The early Kings of Edom. (Cp. Genesis 36:31-39.)

43. in the land of Edom] Edom continued to play an important part in the history of Israel till long after the Chronicler’s lifetime. See (e.g.) 1Ma 5:65; 2Ma 10:14-17. Moreover the Herods were of Edomite descent.

And when Bela was dead, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead.
And when Jobab was dead, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead.
And when Husham was dead, Hadad the son of Bedad, which smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith.
46. Midian in the field of Moab] Perhaps the words point to a time when Midian and Moab were in alliance; cp. Numbers 22:4; Numbers 22:7.

And when Hadad was dead, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead.
And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead.
48. Rehoboth by the River] The Euphrates is meant. See Map 6 in the Cambridge Companion to the Bible.

And when Shaul was dead, Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead.
And when Baalhanan was dead, Hadad reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pai; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab.
50. Hadad] As in 1 Chronicles 1:46; in Genesis 36:39, “Hadar.”

51a. Hadad died also] R.V. And Hadad died. The words are repeated by a copyist’s error from 1 Chronicles 1:47 (R.V. “And Hadad died,” as here); they are not found in Genesis.

Hadad died also. And the dukes of Edom were; duke Timnah, duke Aliah, duke Jetheth,
51b–54. The “Dukes” of Edom (Cp. Genesis 36:40-43)

51. dukes] The word means “leader of a thousand.” The list which follows is probably topographical, not chronological. It seems to give the names of the “dukedoms” into which Edom was divided at the time when the list was drawn up.

duke Timnah, etc.] Render, the duke of Timnah, etc.

Aliah] In Genesis 36:40, “Alvah.”

Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon,
Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar,
Duke Magdiel, duke Iram. These are the dukes of Edom.
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