Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
THE FIRST BOOK OF PARALIPOMENON.
These Books are called by the Greek Interpreters, Paralipomenon; (Greek: Paraleipomenon,) that is, of things left out, or omitted; because they are a kind of supplement of such things as were passed over in the Books of Kings. The Hebrews call them, Dibre Hajamim; that is, The words of the days, or The Chronicles. Not that they are the books which are so often quoted in the Kings, under the title of, The Words of the days of the kings of Israel, and of the kings of Juda; for the Books of Paralipomenon were written after the Books of Kings; but because, in all probability, they have been abridged from those ancient words of the days, by Esdras, or some other sacred author. (Challoner) --- The author of this compilation refers to the same works, 2 Paralipomenon xvi. 11., &c. These journals were principally composed by prophets, though there were other people appointed to write the most important occurrences, 2 Kings viii. 16., and 4 Kings xviii. 18. The genealogies of families, particularly of the Levites, and the interests of piety and religion, are kept most in view. (Calmet) --- The variations which appear between this work and the other parts of Scripture, are owing to the faults of transcribers; and, though they could not be satisfactorily explained, it would be rashness to condemn the author of inaccuracy, at this distance of time, when we know so little of those transactions. (Haydock) --- Who calls in question the history of Alexander, though the different authors of it scarcely agree in one calculation of the number of troops, nations conquered, &c.?" Yet the work before us is of far higher authority, as it was dictated by the Holy Ghost. (Calmet) --- "Without it, a person would in vain pretend to understand the Scriptures." It is "an epitome of the Old Testament," and "explains many difficulties of the gospels." (St. Jerome) --- The author does not, however, seem to have designed to draw up an exact epitome, or to supply the deficiencies of the other works. (Calmet) --- The first nine chapters contain various genealogical histories. In the 10th, we have the election and death of Saul; and in the remainder of the first book, the transactions of David, (Worthington) till the year [of the world] 2990, where the second book commences with the reign of Solomon, and brings us to the end of the captivity. (The year of the world 3468.; Calmet)
Seth. Protestants, "Sheth, Enosh, Kenan:" but in Genesis they agree with us, which shews that the translator of the two different books is different, and that there is a want of uniformity in the plan adopted by king James I. (Haydock) --- The posterity of Cain is neglected, as it all perished in the deluge. (Calmet)
Noe begot Sem, Cham, and Japheth. (Haydock) See Genesis x. The author passes lightly over some of the descendants of the two latter, as he had David's genealogy principally in view.
Riphath. Hebrew begins with D. (Calmet) --- But the Protestants correct it (Haydock) according to the book of Genesis and the Septuagint. The two letters are very much alike.
Dodanim. Hebrew has R, conformably to the Samaritan copy of Genesis, and the Septuagint translate the Rhodians. Yet Dodanim seems more accurate, (Calmet) and is retained by the Protestants. (Haydock)
Earth, first establishing the monarchy of Babylon, and building the castle. (Du Hamel)
Philistines, a colony from Crete.
Hus and Hul were the immediate sons of Aram, as well as....Mosoch, or Mes; (Genesis x. 23.; Calmet) so that there seems to be here some transposition. (Du Hamel)
Sale. The Roman Septuagint omits ver. 11 to 17, and ver. 18 to 24, having only, (17) "The sons of Sem, Ailam and Assur; (24) and Arphaxad, Sala." (Haydock) --- But the other copies here insert Cainan, as the father of Sale. See Genesis x. 24. (Calmet) --- It is a matter of great doubt whether he ought not to be inserted, Luke iii. (Haydock)
Sem begot Arphaxad. (Menochius)
Concubine. She was his lawful wife, but of an inferior degree, and such were called concubines. (Challoner) --- She has the title of wife, Genesis xxv. 1. --- And the sons of Dadan, &c., seems to be copied from Genesis, as the addition is not found in many Latin manuscripts, no more than in the Hebrew or Septuagint. (Calmet)
And by. This serves to explain the difficulty; as Thamna would otherwise seem to be a daughter of Eliphaz, though we know she was his concubine, Genesis xxxvi. 12. (Haydock) --- The Hebrew, Roman Septuagint, Syriac, and Latin, suppose that Thamna was the brother of Amalec; but the Alexandrian Septuagint has, "Now Thamna, the concubine of Eliphaz, bore Amalec." Arabic, "And Thamna, who was the concubine of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, bore him Amalec," which seems to be the true reading. (Kennicott) --- Hebrew, "And Timna and Amalek," (Protestants; Haydock) which confounds the sense. (Mariana) (Du Hamel)
Seir, not Esau, but the Horrite, (Genesis xxxvi. 20.; Menochius) which is added in order to explain the origin of Thamna. (Du Hamel)
Dixon. We must add Oolibama, Genesis xxxvi. 25.
Hamram. In Genesis Hamdan. Two letters have been mistaken since the Chaldean characters have been adopted. (Calmet) --- On this occasion, we may briefly remark, 1. The most learned fathers have admitted such mistakes in Scripture: yet these are not to be corrected by each one's private judgment, but we must all abide by the determination of the Church, which is plainly appointed for our guide in the infallible word of God. 2. To obviate the objections of infidels, respecting the apparent contradictions of Scripture, particularly in these books, we must observe that many people and places had different names; 3. And those who had the saem were really distinct. 4. Frequently also grandchildren, and those who have been adopted, are mentioned as the immediate offspring. 5. Some mysterious numbers are specified, as fourteen in the genealogy of Christ, though the history allows more. 6. Odd numbers are sometimes neglected. 7. Often a part is put for the whole, or on the contrary; as Christ is said to have been dead three days, though he was only one whole day and part of two others: and in the reigns of different kings, in the same year, the different parts are assigned to each, as a whole year. 8. Sometimes two reigned together, as Joathan ruled while Ozias was still living, (4 Kings xv.) and so both reigns are sometimes counted, and, at other times, their respective years. 9. The interregnums are either omitted in calculations, or added to the years of the next ruler. 10. Only the years that a person governed well are sometimes noticed, as Saul is said to have reigned two years, (1 Kings xiii.) though his administration continued much longer. Some of these rules may be applied to most of the scriptural difficulties, as the spirit of God could not dictate any falsehood. At the same time we must be forced to acknowledge that the Scriptures are hard to be understood, 2 Peter i. 20., (Worthington) and iii. 16.; and this may serve to exercise the genius, and to humble the pride of man. (Haydock)
Israel. The same remark had been made in Genesis xxxvi. 31. It is wonderful that the author of this work gives us no further information, when so many revolutions had since occurred. (Calmet) --- But he might content himself with repeating the words of Moses. (Haydock) --- The eight kings here specified must have reigned each 50 years, which is not impossible. David conquered the country under Adad.
River. Euphrates is commonly so designated. See Genesis x. 11. (Calmet) --- Pagnin translates, "from the river Rohoboth." (Du Hamel)
Mezaab. It is unusual for the Scripture to mark so particularly the genealogy of a woman. We might translate the Hebrew, "a native, or who was a native of Mezaab," which is probably the same with Dizahab, "abundance of gold," Deuteronomy i. 1. Mezaab signifies, "waters of gold," (Calmet) or "whose is gold," whence some infer that the woman was very rich, (Lyranus) or had discovered the art of drawing gold thread. (Abulensis) --- It is more probably a proper name. (Menochius)
Kings. Hebrew, "Adad also died, and the dukes of Edom were duke Thamna, &c. (Haydock) --- This, and the following names, designate the place of their residence. (Menochius) --- The same forms of government prevailed in Idumea, as among the Hebrews, who had judges or dukes, then kings, and, after the captivity, dukes, till the time of the Machabees. (Tirinus)