Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary
The Twelve Sons of Israel and the Families of Judah - 1 Chronicles 2-4:23
The list of the twelve sons of Israel (1 Chronicles 2:1-2) serves as foundation and starting-point for the genealogies of the tribes of Israel which follow, 1 Chronicles 2:3-8. The enumeration of the families of the tribe of Judah commences in 1 Chronicles 2:3 with the naming of Judah's sons, and extends to 1 Chronicles 4:23. The tribe of Judah has issued from the posterity of only three of the five sons of Judah, viz., from Shelah, Pharez, and Zerah; but it was subdivided into five great families, as Hezron and Hamul, the two sons of Pharez, also founded families. The lists of our three chapters give us: (1) from the family of Zerah only the names of some famous men (1 Chronicles 2:6-8); (2) the descendants of Hezron in the three branches corresponding to the three sons of Hezron, into which they divided themselves (1 Chronicles 2:9), viz., the descendants of Ram to David (1 Chronicles 2:10-17), of Caleb (1 Chronicles 2:18-24), and of Jerahmeel (2:25-41). Then there follow in 1 Chronicles 2:42-55 four other lists of descendants of Caleb, who peopled a great number of the cities of Judah; and then in 1 Chronicles 3 we have a list of the sons of David and the line of kings of the house of David, down to the grandsons of Zerubbabel; and finally, in 1 Chronicles 4:1-23, other genealogical fragments as to the posterity of Pharez and Shelah. Of Hamul, consequently, no descendants are noticed, unless perhaps some of the groups ranged together in 1 Chronicles 4:8-22, whose connection with the heads of the families of Judah is not given, are of his lineage. The lists collected in 1 Chronicles 4:1-20 are clearly only supplements to the genealogies of the great families contained in 1 Chronicles 2 and 3, which the author of the Chronicle found in the same fragmentary state in which they are communicated to us.
These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun,The twelve sons of Israel, arranged as follows: first, the six sons of Leah; then Dan, the son of Rachel's handmaid; next, the sons of Rachel; and finally, the remaining sons of the handmaids. That a different place is assigned to Dan, viz., before the sons of Rachel, from that which he holds in the list in Genesis 35:23., is perhaps to be accounted for by Rachel's wishing the son of her maid Bilhah to be accounted her own (vide Genesis 30:3-6).
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.The sons of Judah and of Pharez, 1 Chronicles 2:3.f. - The five sons of Judah are given according to Genesis 38, as the remark on Er which is quoted from Genesis 38:7 of that chapter shows, while the names of the five sons are to be found also in Genesis 46:12. The two sons of Pharez are according to Genesis 46:12, cf. Numbers 26:21.
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.Sons and descendants of Zerah. - In 1 Chronicles 2:6, five names are grouped together as בּנים of Zerah, which are found nowhere else so united. The first, Zimri, may be strictly a son; but זמרי may perhaps be a mistake for זבדּי, for Achan, who is in 1 Chronicles 2:7 the son of Carmi, is in Joshua 7:1 called the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah. But זבדּי (Josh.) may also be an error for זמרי, or he may have been a son of Zimri, since in genealogical lists an intermediate member of the family is often passed over. Nothing certain can, however, be ascertained; both names are found elsewhere, but of persons belonging to other tribes: Zimri as prince of the Simeonites, Numbers 25:14; as Benjamite, 1 Chronicles 8:36; 1 Chronicles 9:42; and as king of Israel, 1 Kings 16:9; Zabdi, 1 Chronicles 8:19 (as Benjamite), and 1 Chronicles 27:27, Nehemiah 11:17. The four succeeding names, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara, are met with again in 1 Kings 5:11, where it is said of Solomon he was wiser than the Ezrahite Ethan, and Heman, and Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Machol, with the unimportant variation of דרדע for דרע. On this account, Movers and Bertheau, following Clericus on 1 Kings 4:31 (1 Kings 5:11), hold the identity of the wise men mentioned in 1 Kings 5:11 with the sons (descendants) of Zerah to be beyond doubt. But the main reason which Clericus produces in support of this supposition, the consensus quatuor nominum et quidem unius patris filiorum, and the difficulty of believing that in alia familia Hebraea there should have been quatuor fratres cognomines quatuor filiis Zerachi Judae filii, loses all its force from the fact that the supposition that the four wise men in 1 Kings 5:11 are brothers by blood, is a groundless and erroneous assumption. Since Ethan is called the Ezrahite, while the last two are said to be the sons of Machol, it is clear that the four were not brothers. The mention of them as men famous for their wisdom, does not at all require that we should think the men contemporary with each other. Even the enumeration of these four along with Zimri as זרח בּני in our verse does not necessarily involve that the five names denote brothers by blood; for it is plain from 1 Chronicles 2:7, 1 Chronicles 2:8 that in this genealogy only single famous names of the family of Zerah the son of Judah and Tamar are grouped together. But, on the other hand, the reasons which go to disprove the identity of the persons in our verse with those named in 1 Kings 5:11 are not of very great weight. The difference in the names דרע and דרדע is obviously the result of an error of transcription, and the form העזרחי (1 Kings 5:11) is most probably a patronymic from זרח, notwithstanding that in Numbers 26:20 it appears as זרחי, for even the appellative עזרח, indigena, is formed from זרח. We therefore hold that the persons who bear the same names in our verse and in 1 Kings 5:11 are most probably identical, in spite of the addition מחול בּני to Calcol and Darda (1 Kings 5:11). For that this addition belongs merely to these two names, and not to Ezrah, appears from Psalm 88:1 and Psalm 89:1, which, according to the superscription, were composed by the Ezrahites Heman and Ethan. The authors of these psalms are unquestionably the Heman and Ethan who were famed for their wisdom (1 Kings 5:11), and therefore most probably the same as those spoken of in our verse as sons of Zerah. It is true that the authors of these psalms have been held by many commentators to be Levites, nay, to be the musicians mentioned in 1 Chronicles 15:17 and 1 Chronicles 15:19; but sufficient support for this view, which I myself, on 1 Kings 5:11, after the example of Hengstenberg, Beitrr. ii. S. 61, and on Psalm 88 defended, cannot be found. The statement of the superscription of Psalm 88:1 - "a psalm of the sons of Korah" - from which it is inferred that the Ezrahite Heman was of Levitic origin, does not justify such a conclusion.
(Note: The above quoted statement of the superscription of Psalm 88:1 can contain no information as to the author of the psalm, for this reason, that the author is expressly mentioned in the next sentence of the superscription. The psalm can only in so far be called a song of the children of Korah, as it bears the impress peculiar to the Korahite psalms in contents and form.)
For though the musician Heman the son of Joel was Korahite of the race of Kohath (1 Chronicles 6:18-23), yet the musician Ethan the son of Kishi, or Kushaiah, was neither Korahite nor Kohathite, but a Merarite (1 Chronicles 6:29.). Moreover, the Levites Heman and Ethan could not be enumerated among the Ezrahites, that is, the descendants of Zerah, a man of Judah.
The passages which are quoted in support of the view that the Levites were numbered with the tribes in the midst of whom they dwelt, and that, consequently, there were Judaean and Ephraimite Levites - as, for example, 1 Samuel 1:1, where the father of the Levite Samuel is called an Ephrathite because he dwelt in Mount Ephraim; and Judges 17:7, where a Levite is numbered with the family of Judah because he dwelt as sojourner (גּר) in Bethlehem, a city of Judah - certainly prove that the Levites were reckoned, as regards citizenship, according to the tribes or cities in which they dwelt, but certainly do not show that they were incorporated genealogically with those tribes because of their place of residence.
(Note: Not even by intermarrying with heiresses could Levites become members of another tribe; for, according to the law, Numbers 36:5., heiresses could marry only men of their own tribe; and the possibility of a man of Judah marrying an heiress of the tribe of Levi was out of the question, for the Levites possessed no inheritance in land.)
The Levites Heman and Ethan, therefore, cannot be brought forward in our verse "as adopted sons of Zerah, who brought more honour to their father than his proper sons" (Hengstb.). This view is completely excluded by the fact that in our verse not only Ethan and Heman, but also Zimri, Calcol, and Dara are called sons of Zerah, yet these latter were not adopted sons, but true descendants of Zerah. Besides, in 1 Chronicles 2:8, there is an actual son or descendant of Ethan mentioned, and consequently בּני and בּן cannot possibly be understood in some cases as implying only an adoptive relationship, and in the others actual descent. But the similarity of the names is not of itself sufficient to justify us in identifying the persons. As the name Zerah again appears in 1 Chronicles 6:26 in the genealogy of the Levite Asaph, so also the name Ethan occurs in the same genealogy, plainly showing that more than one Israelite bore this name. The author of the Chronicle, too, has sufficiently guarded against the opinion that Zerah's sons Ethan and Heman are identical with the Levitical musicians who bear the same names, by tracing back in 1 Chronicles 6 the family of those musicians to Levi, without calling them Ezrahites.
(Note: The supposition of Ewald and Bertheau, that these two great singers of the tribe of Judah had been admitted into their guild by the Levitic musical schools, and on that account had been received also into their family, and so had been numbered with the tribe of Levi, is thus completely refuted, even were it at all possible that members of other tribes should have been received into the tribe of Levi.)
But to hold, with Movers, S. 237, that the recurrences of the same names in various races are contradictions, which are to be explained only on the supposition of genealogical combinations by various authors, will enter into the head of no sensible critic. We therefore believe the five persons mentioned in our verse to be actual descendants of the Judaean Zerah; but whether they were sons or grandsons, or still more distant descendants, cannot be determined. It is certainly very probable that Zimri was a son, if he be identical with the Zabdi of Joshua 7:1; Ethan and Heman may have been later descendants of Zerah, if they were the wise men mentioned in 1 Kings 5:11; but as to Calcol and Dara no further information is to be obtained. From 1 Chronicles 2:7 and 1 Chronicles 2:8, where of the sons (בּני) of Zimri and Ethan only one man in each case is named, it is perfectly clear that in our genealogy only individuals, men who have become famous, are grouped together out of the whole posterity of Zerah. The plural בּני in 1 Chronicles 2:7 and 1 Chronicles 2:8, etc., even where only one son is mentioned, is used probably only in those cases where, out of a number of sons or descendants, one has gained for himself by some means a memorable name. This is true at least of Achan, 1 Chronicles 2:7, who, by laying hands on the accursed spoils of Jericho, had become notorious (Joshua 7). Because Achan had thus troubled Israel (עכר), he is called here at once Achar. As to Carmi, vide on 1 Chronicles 4:1.
And the sons of Carmi; Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the thing accursed.
And the sons of Ethan; Azariah.
The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai.The only name given here as that of a descendant of Ethan is Azariah, of whom nothing further is known, while the name recurs frequently. Nothing more is said of the remaining sons of Zerah; they are merely set down as famous men of antiquity (Berth.). There follows in
The family of Hezron, the first-born son of Pharez, which branches off in three lines, originating with his three sons respectively. The three sons of Hezron are Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai; but the families springing from them are enumerated in a different order. First (1 Chronicles 2:10-17) we have the family of Ram, because King David is descended from him; then (1 Chronicles 2:18-24) the family of Chelubai or Caleb, from whose lineage came the illustrious Bezaleel; and finally (vv. 25-41), the posterity of the first-born, Jerahmeel.
לו נולד אשׁר, what was born to him. The passive stands impersonally instead of the more definite active, "to whom one bore," so that the following names are subordinated to it with את. The third person singular Niph. occurs thus also in 1 Chronicles 3:4 and 1 Chronicles 26:6; the construction of Niph. with את frequently (Genesis 4:18; Genesis 21:5, and elsewhere). Ram is called, in the genealogy in Matthew 1:3-4, Aram; comp. רם, Job 32:2, with ארם, Genesis 22:21. כּלוּבי is called afterwards כּלב; cf. on 1 Chronicles 2:18.
And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;The family of Ram (1 Chronicles 2:10-12), traced down through six members of Jesse. - This genealogy is also to be found in Ruth 1 Chronicles Ruth 4:19-21; but only here is Nahshon made more prominent than the others, by the addition, "prince of the sons of Judah." Nahshon was a prince of Judah at the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt (Numbers 1:7; Numbers 2:3; Numbers 7:12). Now between him, a contemporary of Moses, and Pharez, who at the immigration of Jacob into Egypt was about fifteen years old, lies a period of 430 years, during which the Israelites remained in Egypt. For that time only three names - Hezron, Ram, and Amminidab - are mentioned, from which it is clear that several links must have been passed over. So also, from Nahshon to David, for a period of over 400 years, four generations - Salma, Boaz, Obed, and Jesse - are too few; and consequently here also the less famous ancestors of David are omitted. שׂלמא is called in Ruth 4:20-21, שׁלמה and שׂלמון. In 1 Chronicles 2:13-15, seven sons and two daughters of Jesse, with those of their sons who became famous (1 Chronicles 2:16, 1 Chronicles 2:17), are enumerated. According to 1 Samuel 17:12, Jesse had eight sons. This account, which agrees with that in 1 Samuel 16:8-12, may be reconciled with the enumeration in our verse, on the supposition that one of the sons died without posterity. In 1 Samuel 16:6. and 1 Chronicles 17:13, the names of the eldest three - Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah - occur. Besides ישׁי, we meet with the form אשׁי (1 Chronicles 2:13); and the name שׁמּה is only another form of שׁמעה, which is found in 2 Samuel 13:3 and in 1 Chronicles 20:7, and is repeated in 2 Samuel 13:32 and 2 Samuel 21:21 in the Kethibh (שׁמעי). The names of the other three sons here mentioned (1 Chronicles 2:14 and 1 Chronicles 2:15) are met with nowhere else.
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,
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.The sisters of David have become known through their heroic sons. Zeruiah is the mother of the heroes of the Davidic history, Abishai, Joab, and Asahel (cf. 1 Samuel 26:6; 2 Samuel 2:18; 2 Samuel 3:39; 2 Samuel 8:16, and elsewhere). Their father is nowhere mentioned, "because their more famous mother challenged the greater attention" (Berth.). Abigail was, according to 2 Samuel 17:25, the daughter of Nahash, a sister of Zeruiah, and so was only a half-sister of David, and was the mother of Amasa the captain of the host, so well known on account of his share in the conspiracy of Absalom; cf. 2 Samuel 17:25; 2 Samuel 19:14, and 2 Samuel 20:10. His father was Jether, or Jithra, the Ishmaelite, who in the Masoretic text of 2 Samuel 17:25 is called, through a copyist's, error, היּשׂראלי instead of היּשׁמעאלי; see comm. on passage.
And Abigail bare Amasa: and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmeelite.
And Caleb the son of Hezron begat children of Azubah his wife, and of Jerioth: her sons are these; Jesher, and Shobab, and Ardon.The family of Caleb. - That כּלב is merely a shortened form of כּלוּבי, or a form of that word resulting from the friction of constant use, is so clear from the context, that all exegetes recognise it. We have first (1 Chronicles 2:18-20) a list of the descendants of Caleb by two wives, then descendants which the daughter of the Gileadite Machir bore to his father Hezron (1 Chronicles 2:21-23), and finally the sons whom Hezron's wife bore him after his death (1 Chronicles 2:24). The grouping of these descendants of Hezron with the family of Caleb can only be accounted for by supposing that they had, through circumstances unknown to us, come into a more intimate connection with the family of Caleb than with the families of his brothers Ram and Jerahmeel. In 1 Chronicles 2:42-55 follow some other lists of descendants of Caleb, which will be more fully considered when we come to these verses. The first half of the 18th verse is obscure, and the text is probably corrupt. As the words stand at present, we must translate, "Caleb the son of Hezron begat with Azubah, a woman, and with Jerioth, and these are her (the one wife's) sons, Jesher," etc. בּניה, filii ejus, suggests that only one wife of Caleb had been before mentioned; and, as appears from the "and Azubah died" of 1 Chronicles 2:19, Azubah is certainly meant. The construction את הוליד, "he begat with," is, it is true, unusual, but is analogous to חוליד מן, 1 Chronicles 8:9, and is explained by the fact that הוליד may mean to cause to bear, to bring to bearing; cf. Isaiah 66:9 : therefore properly it is, "he brought Azubah to bearing." The difficulty of the verse lies in the ואת־יריעות אשּׁה, for, according to the usual phraseology, we would have expected אשׁתּו instead of אשּׁה. But אשּׁה may be, under the circumstances, to some extent justified by the supposition that Azubah is called indefinitely "woman," because Caleb had several wives. ואת־וריעות gives no suitable meaning. The explanation of Kimchi, "with Azubah a woman, and with Jerioth," cannot be accepted, for only the sons of Azubah are hereafter mentioned; and the idea that the children of the other wives are not enumerated here because the list used by the chronicler was defective, is untenable: for after two wives had been named in the enumeration of the children of one of them, the mother must necessarily have been mentioned; and so, instead of בּניה, we should have had עזוּבה בּני. Hiller and J. H. Michaelis take ואת as explicative, "with Azubah a woman, viz., with Jerioth;" but this is manifestly only the product of exegetical embarrassment. The text is plainly at fault, and the easiest conjecture is to read, with the Peschito and the Vulgate, את אשׁתּו instead of ואת אשּׁה, "he begat with Azubah his wife, Jerioth (a daughter); and these are her sons." In that case אשּׁה would be added to עזוּבה, to guard against עזוּבה being taken for acc. obj. The names of the sons of Azubah, or of her daughter Jerioth, do not occur elsewhere.
And when Azubah was dead, Caleb took unto him Ephrath, which bare him Hur.When Azubah died, Caleb took Ephrath to wife, who bore him Hur. For אפרת we find in 1 Chronicles 2:50 the lengthened feminine form אפרתה; cf. also 1 Chronicles 4:4. From Hur descended, by Uri, the famous Bezaleel, the skilful architect of the tabernacle (Exodus 31:2; Exodus 35:30).
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.The descendants of Hezron numbered with the stock of Caleb: (a) those begotten by Hezron with the daughter of Machir, 1 Chronicles 2:21-23; (b) those born to Hezron after his death, 1 Chronicles 2:24.
Afterwards (אחר), i.e., after the birth of the sons mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:9, whose mother is not mentioned, when he was sixty years old, Hezron took to wife the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, who bore him Segub. Machir was the first-born of Manasseh (Genesis 50:23; Numbers 26:29). But Machir is not called in 1 Chronicles 2:21 and 1 Chronicles 2:23 the father of Gilead because he was the originator of the Israelite population of Gilead, but אב has here its proper signification. Machir begot a son of the name of Gilead (Numbers 26:29); and it is clear from the genealogy of the daughters of Zelophehad, communicated in Numbers 27:1, that this expression is to be understood in its literal sense. Machir is distinguished from other men of the same name (cf. 2 Samuel 9:4; 2 Samuel 17:27) by the addition, father of Gilead. Segub the son of Hezron and the daughter of Machir begat Jair. This Jair, belonging on his mother's side to the tribe of Manasseh, is set down in Numbers 32:40., Deuteronomy 3:14, as a descendant of Manasseh. After Moses' victory over Og king of Bashan, Jair's family conquered the district of Argob in Bashan, i.e., in the plain of Jaulan and Hauran; and to the conquered cities, when they were bestowed upon him for a possession by Moses, the name Havvoth-jair, i.e., Jair's-life, was given. Cf. Numbers 32:41 and Deuteronomy 3:14, where this name is explained. These are the twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead, i.e., Pera.
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.These cities named Jair's-life were taken away from the Jairites by Geshur and Aram, i.e., by the Arameans of Geshur and of other places. Geshur denotes the inhabitants of a district of Aram, or Syria, on the north-western frontier of Bashan, in the neighbourhood of Hermon, on the east side of the upper Jordan, which had still its own kings in the time of David (2 Samuel 3:3; 2 Samuel 13:37; 2 Samuel 14:23; 2 Samuel 15:8), but which had been assigned to the Manassites by Moses; cf. Joshua 13:13. The following וגו את־קנת must not be taken as an explanatory apposition to יאיר את־חוּת: "Jair's-life, Kenath and her daughters, sixty cities" (Berth.). For since מאתּם refers to the collective name Jair, Geshur and Aram could not take away from Jair sixty cities, for Jair only possessed twenty-three cities. But besides this, according to Numbers 32:42, Kenath with her daughters had been conquered by Nobah, who gave his own name to the conquered cities; and according to Deuteronomy 3:4, the kingdom of Og in Bashan had sixty fenced cities. But this kingdom was, according to Numbers 32:41, and Numbers 32:42, conquered by two families of Manasseh, by Jair and Nobah, and was divided between them; and as appears from our passage, twenty-three cities were bestowed upon Jair, and all the rest of the land, viz., Kenath with her daughters, fell to Nobah. These two domains together included sixty fenced cities, which in Deuteronomy 3:14 are called Jair's-life; while here, in our verse, only twenty-three cities are so called, and the remaining thirty-seven are comprehended under the name of Kenath had her daughters. WE must therefore either supply a w copul. before את־קנת, or we must take את־ק in the signification "with Kenath," and refer עיר שׁשּׁים to both Jair's-life and Kenath. Cf. herewith the discussion on Deuteronomy 3:12-14; and for Kenath, the ruins of which still exist under the name Kanuat on the western slope of the Jebel Hauran, see the remarks on Numbers 32:42. The time when these cities were taken away by the Arameans is not known. From Judges 10:4 we only learn that the Jair who was judge at a later time again had possession of thirty of these cities, and renewed the name Jair's-life. כּל־אלּה is not all these sixty cities, but the before-mentioned descendants of Hezron, who are called sons, that is offspring, of Machir, because they were begotten with the daughter of Machir. Only two names, it is true, Segub and Jair, are enumerated; but from these two issue the numerous families which took Jair's-life. To these, therefore, must we refer the כּל־אלּה.
And after that Hezron was dead in Calebephratah, then Abiah Hezron's wife bare him Ashur the father of Tekoa.After the death of Hezron there was born to him by his wife Abiah (the third wife, cf. 1 Chronicles 2:9 and 1 Chronicles 2:21) another son, Ashur, the father of Tekoa, whose descendants are enumerated in 1 Chronicles 4:5-7. Hezron's death took place אפרתה בּכלב, "in Caleb Ephrathah." This expression is obscure. According to 1 Samuel 30:14, a part of the Negeb (south country) of Judah was called Negeb Caleb, as it belonged to the family of Caleb. According to this analogy, the town or village in which Caleb dwelt with his wife Ephrath may have been called Caleb of Ephrathah, if Ephrath had brought this place as a dower to Caleb, as in the case mentioned in Joshua 15:18. Ephrathah, or Ephrath, was the ancient name of Bethlehem (Genesis 33:19; Genesis 48:1), and with it the name of Caleb's wife Ephrath (1 Chronicles 2:19) is unquestionably connected; probably she was so called after her birthplace. If this supposition be well founded, then Caleb of Ephrathah would be the little town of Bethlehem. Ashur is called father (אבי) of Tekoa, i.e., lord and prince, as the chief of the inhabitants of Tekoa, now Tekua, two hours south of Bethlehem (vide on Joshua 15:59).
And the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were, Ram the firstborn, and Bunah, and Oren, and Ozem, and Ahijah.The family of Jerahmeel, the first-born of Hezron, which inhabited a part of the Negeb of Judah called after him the south of the Jerahmeelites (1 Samuel 27:10; 1 Samuel 30:29).
Four sons were born to Jerahmeel by his first wife. Five names indeed follow; but as the last, אחיּה, although met with elsewhere as a man's name, is not ranged with the others by ו copul., as those that precede are with each other, it appears to be the name of a woman, and probably a מ has fallen out after the immediately preceding ם. So Cler., J. H. Mich., Berth. This conjecture gains in probability from the mention in 1 Chronicles 2:26 of another wife, whence we might expect that in 1 Chronicles 2:25 the first wife would be named.
Jerahmeel had also another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam.Only one son of the second wife is given, Onam, whose posterity follows in 1 Chronicles 2:28-33; for in 1 Chronicles 2:27 the three sons of Ram, the first-born of Jerahmeel, are enumerated.
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.Onam had two sons, Shammai and Jada; the second of these, again, two sons, Nadab and Abishur.
And the name of the wife of Abishur was Abihail, and she bare him Ahban, and Molid.To Abishur his wife Abihail bore likewise two sons, with whom his race terminates. - In 1 Chronicles 2:30, 1 Chronicles 2:31, Nadab's posterity follow, in four members, ending with Ahlai, in the fourth generation. But Ahlai cannot well have been a son, but must have been a daughter, the heiress of Sheshan; for, according to 1 Chronicles 2:34, Sheshen had no sons, but only daughters, and gave his daughter to an Egyptian slave whom he possessed, to wife, by whom she became the mother of a numerous posterity. The שׁשׁן בּני is not irreconcilable with this, for בּני denotes in genealogies only descendants in general, and has been here correctly so explained by Hiller in Onomast. p. 736: quicquid habuit liberorum, sive nepotum, sustulit ex unica filia Achlai.
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.
And the sons of Jada the brother of Shammai; Jether, and Jonathan: and Jether died without children.The descendants of Jada, the brother of Shammai, in two generations, after which this genealogy closes with the subscription, "these were the sons of Jerahmeel."
(Note: Bertheau reckons up to "the concluding subscription in 1 Chronicles 2:33" the following descendants of Judah: "Judah's sons equals 5; Hezron and Hamul equals 2; Zerah's sons equals 5; Karmi, Akar, and Azariah equals 3; Ram and his descendants (including the two daughters of Jesse, and Jeter the father of Amasa) equals 21; Kaleb and his descendants equals 10; Jerahmeel and his descendants equals 24: together equals 70." But this number also is obtained only by taking into account the father and mother of Amasa as two persons, contrary to the rule according to which only the father, without the mother, is to be counted, or, in case the mother be more famous than the father, or be an heiress, only the mother.)
- In 1 Chronicles 2:34-41 there follows the family of Sheshan, which was originated by the marriage of his daughter with his Egyptian slave, and which is continued through thirteen generations. The name of this daughter is in 1 Chronicles 2:25. not mentioned, but she is without doubt the Ahlai mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:31. But since this Ahlai is the tenth in descent from Judah through Pharez, she was probably born in Egypt; and the Egyptian slave Jarha was most likely a slave whom Sheshan had in Egypt, and whom he adopted as his son for the propagation of his race, by giving him his daughter and heir to wife. If this be the case, the race begotten by Jarha with the daughter of Sheshan is traced down till towards the end of the period of the judges. The Egyptian slave Jarha is not elsewhere met with; and though the names which his posterity bore are found again in various parts of the Old Testament, of none of them can it be proved that they belonged to men of this family, so as to show that one of these person shad become famous in history.
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.
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.Other renowned descendants of Caleb. - First of all there are enumerated, in 1 Chronicles 2:42-49, three lines of descendants of Caleb, of which the two latter, 1 Chronicles 2:46-49, are the issue of concubines. - The first series, 1 Chronicles 2:42-45, contains some things which are very obscure. In 1 Chronicles 2:42 there are menitioned, as sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel, Mesha his first-born, with the addition, "this is the father of Ziph; and the sons of Mareshah, the father of Hebron," as it reads according to the traditional Masoretic text. Now it is here not only very surprising that the sons of Mareshah stand parallel with Mesha, but it is still more strange to find such a collocation as "sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron." The last-mentioned difficulty would certainly be greatly lessened if we might take Hebron to be the city of that name, and translate the phrase "father of Hebron," lord of the city of Hebron, according to the analogy of "father of Ziph," "father of Tekoa" (1 Chronicles 2:24), and other names of that sort. But the continuation of the genealogy, "and the sons of Hebron were Korah, and Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema" (1 Chronicles 2:43), is irreconcilable with such an interpretation. For of these names, Tappuah, i.e., apple, is indeed met with several times as the name of a city (Joshua 12:17; Joshua 15:34; Joshua 16:8); and Rekem is the name of a city of Benjamin (Joshua 18:27), but occurs also twice as the name of a person - once of a Midianite prince (Numbers 31:8), and once of a Manassite (1 Chronicles 7:16); but the other two, Korah and Shema, only occur as the names of persons. In 1 Chronicles 2:44., moreover, the descendants of Shema and Rekem are spoken of, and that, too, in connection with the word הוליד, "he begat," which demonstrably can only denote the propagation of a race. We must therefore take Hebron as the name of a person, as in 1 Chronicles 6:2 and Exodus 6:18. But if Hebron be the name of a man, then Mareshah also must be interpreted in the same manner. This is also required by the mention of the sons of Mareshah parallel with Mesha the first-born; but still more so by the circumstance that the interpretation of Mareshah and Hebron, as names of cities, is irreconcilable with the position of these two cities, and with their historical relations. Bertheau, indeed, imagines that as Mareshah is called the father of Hebron, the famous capital of the tribe of Judah, we must therefore make the attempt, however inadmissible it may seem at first sight, to take Mareshah, in the connection of our verse, as the name of a city, which appears as father of Hebron, and that we must also conclude that the ancient city Hebron (Numbers 13:23) stood in some sort of dependent relationship to Mareshah, perhaps only in later time, although we cannot at all determine to what time the representation of our verse applies. But at the foundation of this argument there lies an error as to the position of the city Mareshah. Mareshah lay in the Shephelah (Joshua 15:44), and exists at present as the ruin Marasch, twenty-four minutes south of Beit-Jibrin: vide on Joshua 15:44; and Tobler, Dritte Wanderung, 129 and 142f. Ziph, therefore, which is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 11:8 along with Mareshah, and which is consequently the Ziph mentioned in our verse, cannot be, as Bertheau believes, the Ziph situated in the hill country of Judah, in the wilderness of that name, whose ruins are still to be seen on the hill Zif, about four miles south-east from Hebron (Joshua 15:55). It can only be the Ziph in the Shephelah (Joshua 15:24), the position of which has not indeed been discovered, but which is to be sought in the Shephelah at no great distance from Marasch, and thus far distant from Hebron. Since, then, Mareshah and Ziph were in the Shephelah, no relation of dependence between the capital, Hebron, situated in the mountains of Judah, and Mareshah can be thought of, neither in more ancient nor in later time. The supposition of such a dependence is not made probable by the remark that we cannot determine to what time the representation of our verse applies; it only serves to cover the difficulty which renders it impossible. That the verse does not treat of post-exilic times is clear, although even after the exile, and in the time of the Maccabees and the Romans, Hebron was not in a position of dependence on Marissa. Bertheau himself holds Caleb, of whose son our verses treat, for a contemporary of Moses and Joshua, because in 1 Chronicles 2:49 Achsa is mentioned as daughter of Caleb (Joshua 15:16; Judges 1:12). The contents of our verse would therefore have reference to the first part of the period of the judges. But since Hebron was never dependent on Mareshah in the manner supposed, the attempt, which even at first sight appeared so inadmissible, to interpret Mareshah as the name of a city, loses all its support. For this reason, therefore, the city of Hebron, and the other cities named in 1 Chronicles 2:43., which perhaps belonged to the district of Mareshah, cannot be the sons of Mareshah here spoken of; and the fact that, of the names mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:43 and 1 Chronicles 2:44, at most two may denote cities, while the others are undoubtedly the names of persons, points still more clearly to the same conclusion. We must, then, hold Hebron and Mareshah also to be the names of persons.
Now, if the Masoretic text be correct, the use of the phrase, "and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron," instead of "and Mareshah, the sons of the father of Hebron," can only have arisen from a desire to point out, that besides Hebron there were also other sons of Mareshah who were of Caleb's lineage. But the mention of the sons of Mareshah, instead of Mareshah, and the calling him the father of Hebron in this connection, make the correctness of the traditional text very questionable. Kimchi has, on account of the harshness of placing the sons of Mareshah on a parallel with Mesha the first-born of Caleb, supposed an ellipse in the expression, and construes מר ובני, et ex filiis Ziphi Mareshah. But this addition cannot be justified. If we may venture a conjecture in so obscure a matter, it would more readily suggest itself that מרשׁה is an error for מישׁע, and that חברון אבי is to be taken as a nomen compos., when the meaning would be, "and the sons of Mesha were Abi-Hebron." The probability of the existence of such a name as Abihebron along with the simple Hebron has many analogies in its favour: cf. Dan and Abidan, Numbers 1:11; Ezer, 1 Chronicles 12:9, Nehemiah 3:19, with Abi-ezer; Nadab, Exodus 6:23, and Abinadab. In the same family even we have Abiner, or Abner, the son of Ner (1 Samuel 14:50.; 2 Samuel 2:8; cf. Ew. 273, S. 666, 7th edition). Abihebron would then be repeated in 1 Chronicles 2:43, in the shortened form Hebron, just as we have in Joshua 16:8 Tappuah, instead of En-tappuah, Joshua 17:7. The four names introduced as sons of Hebron denote persons, not localities: cf. for Korah, 1 Chronicles 1:35, and concerning Tappuah and Rekem the above remark. In 1 Chronicles 2:44 are mentioned the sons of Rekem and of Shema, the latter a frequently recurring man's name (cf. 1 Chronicles 5:8; 1 Chronicles 8:13; 1 Chronicles 11:44; Nehemiah 8:4). Shema begat Raham, the father of Jorkam. The name יקעם is quite unknown elsewhere. The lxx have rendered it Ἰεκλὰν, and Bertheau therefore holds Jorkam to be the name of a place, and conjectures that originally יקדעם (Joshua 15:56) stood here also. But the lxx give also Ἰεκλὰν for the following name רקם, from which it is clear that we cannot rely much on their authority. The lxx have overlooked the fact that רקם, 1 Chronicles 2:44, is the son of the Hebron mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:43, whose descendants are further enumerated. Shammai occurs as a man's name also in 1 Chronicles 2:28, and is again met with in 1 Chronicles 4:17. His son is called in 1 Chronicles 2:45 Maon, and Maon is the father of Bethzur. בּית־צוּר is certainly the city in the mountains of Judah which Rehoboam fortified (2 Chronicles 11:7), and which still exists in the ruin Bet-sur, lying south of Jerusalem in the direction of Hebron. Maon also was a city in the mountains of Judah, now Main (Joshua 15:55); but we cannot allow that this city is meant by the name מעון, because Maon is called on the one hand the son of Shammai, and on the other is father of Bethzur, and there are no well-ascertained examples of a city being represented as son (בּן) of a man, its founder or lord, nor of one city being called the father of another. Dependent cities and villages are called daughters (not sons) of the mother city. The word מעון, "dwelling," does not per se point to a village or town, and in Judges 10:12 denotes a tribe of non-Israelites.
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.
And Ephah, Caleb's concubine, bare Haran, and Moza, and Gazez: and Haran begat Gazez.Descendants of Caleb by two concubines. - The name עיפה occurs in 1 Chronicles 2:47 and 1 Chronicles 1:33 as a man's name. Caleb's concubine of this name bore three sons: Haran, of whom nothing further is known; Moza, which, though in Joshua 18:26 it is the name of a Benjamite town, is not necessarily on that account the name of a town here; and Gazez, unknown, perhaps a grandson of Caleb, especially if the clause "Haran begat Gazez" be merely an explanatory addition. But Haran may also have given to his son the name of his younger brother, so that a son and grandson of Caleb may have borne the same name.
And the sons of Jahdai; Regem, and Jotham, and Geshan, and Pelet, and Ephah, and Shaaph.The genealogical connection of the names in this verse is entirely wanting; for Jahdai, of whom six sons are enumerated, appears quite abruptly. Hiller, in Onomast., supposes, but without sufficient ground, that יהדּי is another name of Moza. Of his sons' names, Jotham occurs frequently of different persons; Ephah, as has been already remarked, is in 1 Chronicles 1:33 the name of a chief of a Midianite tribe; and lastly, Shaaph is used in 1 Chronicles 2:49 of another person.
Maachah, Caleb's concubine, bare Sheber, and Tirhanah.Another concubine of Caleb was called Maachah, a not uncommon woman's name; cf. 1 Chronicles 3:2; 1 Chronicles 7:16; 1 Chronicles 8:29; 1 Chronicles 11:43, etc. She bore Sheber and Tirhanah, names quite unknown. The masc. ילד instead of the fem. ילדה, 1 Chronicles 2:46, is to be explained by the supposition that the father who begat was present to the mind of the writer. 1 Chronicles 2:49. Then she bore also Shaaph (different from the Shaaph in 1 Chronicles 2:47), the father of Madmannah, a city in the south of Judah, perhaps identical with Miniay or Minieh, southwards from Gaza (see on Joshua 15:31). Sheva (David's Sopher scribe is so called in the Keri of 2 Samuel 20:25), the father of Machbenah, a village of Judah not further mentioned, and of Gibea, perhaps the Gibeah mentioned in Joshua 15:57, in the mountains of Judah, or the village Jeba mentioned by Robinson, Palest. ii. p. 327, and Tobler, Dritte Wanderung, S. 157f., on a hill in the Wady Musurr (vide on Joshua 15:57). This list closes with the abrupt remark, "and Caleb's daughter was Achsah." This notice can only refer to the Achsah so well known in the history of the conquest of the tribal domain of Judah, whom Caleb had promised, and gave as a reward to the conqueror of Debir (Joshua 15:16.; Judges 1:12); otherwise in its abrupt form it would have no meaning. Women occur in the genealogies only when they have played an important part in history. Since, however, the father of this Achsah was Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who was about forty years old when the Israelites left Egypt, while our Caleb, on the contrary, is called in 1 Chronicles 2:42 the brother of Jerahmeel, and is at the same time designated son of Hezron, the son of Pharez (1 Chronicles 2:9), these two Calebs cannot be one person: the son of Hezron must have been a much older Caleb than the son of Jephunneh. The older commentators have consequently with one voice distinguished the Achsah mentioned in our verse from the Achsah in Joshua 15:16; while Movers, on the contrary (Chron. S. 83), would eliminate from the text, as a later interpolation, the notice of the daughter of Caleb. Bertheau, however, attempts to prove the identity of Caleb the son of Hezron with Caleb the son of Jephunneh. The assertion of Movers is so manifestly a critical tour de force, that it requires no refutation; but neither can we subscribe to Bertheau's view. He is, indeed, right in rejecting Ewald's expedient of holding that 1 Chronicles 2:18-20 and 1 Chronicles 2:45-50 are to be referred to Chelubai, and 1 Chronicles 2:42-49 to a Caleb to be carefully distinguished from him; for it contradicts the plain sense of the words, according to which both Chelubai, 1 Chronicles 2:9, and Caleb, 1 Chronicles 2:18 and 1 Chronicles 2:42, is the son of Hezron and the brother of Jerahmeel. But what he brings forward against distinguishing Caleb the father of Achsah, 1 Chronicles 2:49, from Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel, 1 Chronicles 2:42, is entirely wanting in force. The reasons adduced reduce themselves to these: that Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the conqueror and possessor of Hebron, might well be called in the genealogical language, which sometimes expresses geographical relations, the son of Hezron, along with Ram and Jerahmeel, as the names Ram and Jerahmeel certainly denote families in Judah, who, originally at least, dwelt in other domains than that of Caleb; and again, that the individual families as well as the towns and villages in these various domains may be conceived of as sons and descendants of those who represent the great families of the tribe, and the divisions of the tribal territory. But we must deny the geographical signification of the genealogies when pressed so far as this: for valid proofs are entirely wanting that towns are represented as sons and brothers of other towns; and the section 1 Chronicles 2:42-49 does not treat merely, or principally, of the geographical relations of the families of Judah, but in the first place, and in the main, deals with the genealogical ramifications of the descendants and families of the sons of Judah. It by no means follows, because some of these descendants are brought forward as fathers of cities, that in 1 Chronicles 2:42-49 towns and their mutual connection are spoken of; and the names Caleb, Ram, and Jerahmeel do not here denote families, but are the names of the fathers and chiefs of the families which descended from them, and dwelt in the towns just named. We accordingly distinguish Caleb, whose daughter was called Achsah, and whose father was Jephunneh (Joshua 15:16.), from Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel and the son of Hezron. but we explain the mention of Achsah as daughter of Caleb, at the end of the genealogical lists of the persons and families descended by concubines from Caleb, by the supposition that the Caleb who lived in the time of Moses, the son of Jephunneh, was a descendant of an older Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel. But it is probable that the Caleb in 1 Chronicles 2:49 is the same who is called in 1 Chronicles 2:42 the brother of Jerahmeel, and whose descendants are specified 1 Chronicles 2:42-49; and we take the word בּת, "daughter," in its wider sense, as signifying a later female descendant, because the father of the Achsah so well known from Joshua 15:16. is also called son of Jephunneh in the genealogy, 1 Chronicles 4:15.
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,The families descended from Caleb through his son Hur. - 1 Chronicles 2:50. The superscription, "These are the sons (descendants) of Caleb," is more accurately defined by the addition, "the son of Hur, the first-born of Ephratah;" and by this definition the following lists of Caleb's descendants are limited to the families descended from his son Hur. That the words וגו בּן־חוּר are to be so understood, and not as apposition to כּלב, "Caleb the son of Hur," is shown by 1 Chronicles 2:19, according to which Hur is a son of Caleb and Ephrath. On that account, too, the relationship of Hur to Caleb is not given here; it is presupposed as known from 1 Chronicles 2:19. A famous descendant of Hur has already been mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:20, viz., Bezaleel the son of Uri. Here, in 1 Chronicles 2:50 and 1 Chronicles 2:51, three sons of Hur are named, Shobal, Salma, and Hareph, with the families descended from the first two. All information is wanting as to whether these sons of Hur were brothers of Uri, or his cousins in nearer or remoter degree, as indeed is every means of a more accurate determination of the degrees of relationship. Both בּן and הוליד in genealogies mark only descent in a straight line, while intermediate members of a family are often omitted in the lists. Instead of בּן־חוּר, בּני־חוּר might have been expected, as two sons are mentioned. The singular בּן shows that the words are not to be fused with the following into one sentence, but, as the Masoretic punctuation also shows, are meant for a superscription, after which the names to be enumerated are ranged without any more intimate logical connection. For the three names are not connected by the w copul. They stand thus: "sons of Hur, the first-born of Ephratah; Shobal...Salma...Hareph." Shobal is called father of Kirjath-jearim, now Kureyet el Enab (see on Joshua 9:17). Salma, father of Bethlehem, the birth-place of David and Christ. This Salma is, however, not the same person as Salma mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:11 and Ruth 4:20 among the ancestors of David; for the latter belonged to the family of Ram, the former to the family of Caleb. Hareph is called the father of Beth-Geder, which is certainly not the same place as Gedera, Joshua 15:36, which lay in the Shephelah, but is probably identical with Gedor in the hill country, Joshua 15:58, west of the road which leads from Hebron to Jerusalem (vide on 1 Chronicles 12:4). Nothing further is told of Hareph, but in the following verses further descendants of both the other sons of Hur are enumerated.
Salma the father of Bethlehem, Hareph the father of Bethgader.
And Shobal the father of Kirjathjearim had sons; Haroeh, and half of the Manahethites.Shobal had sons, המּנחות חצי הראה. These words, which are translated in the Vulgate, qui videbat dimidium requietionum, give, so interpreted, no fitting sense, but must contain proper names. The lxx have made from them three names, Ἀραὰ καὶ Αἰσὶ καὶ Ἀμμανίθ, on mere conjecture. Most commentators take הראה for the name of the man who, in 1 Chronicles 4:2, is called under the name Reaiah, ראיה, the son of Shobal. This is doubtless correct; but we must not take הראה for another name of Reaiah, but, with Bertheau, must hold it to be a corruption of ראיה, or a conjecture arising from a false interpretation of המּנחות חצי by a transcriber or reader, who did not take Hazi-Hammenuhoth for a proper name, but understood it appellatively, and attempted to bring some sense out of the words by changing ראיה into the participle ראה. The המּנחתּי חצי ה in 1 Chronicles 2:54 corresponds to our המּנחות חצי, as one half of a race or district corresponds to the other, for the connection between the substantive המּנחות and the adjective המּנחתּי cannot but be acknowledged. Now, although מנוּחה signifies resting-place (Numbers 10:33; Judges 20:43), and the words "the half of the resting-place," or "of the resting-places," point in the first instance to a district, yet not only does the context require that Hazi-Hammenuhoth should signify a family sprung from Shobal, but it is demanded also by a comparison of our phrase with hmnchty chtsy in 1 Chronicles 2:54, which unquestionably denotes a family. It does not, however, seem necessary to alter the המּנחות into המּנחתּי; for as in 1 Chronicles 2:54 Bethlehem stands for the family in Bethlehem descended from Salma, so the district Hazi-Hammenuhoth may be used in 1 Chronicles 2:52 to denote the family residing there. As to the geographical position of this district, see on 1 Chronicles 2:54.
And the families of Kirjathjearim; the Ithrites, and the Puhites, and the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; of them came the Zareathites, and the Eshtaulites.Besides the families mentioned in 1 Chronicles 2:52, the families of Kirjath-jearim, which in 1 Chronicles 2:53 are enumerated by name, came of Shobal also. וּמשׁפּחות ק is simply a continuation of the families already mentioned, and the remark of Berth., that "the families of Kirjath-jearim are moreover distinguished from the sons of Shobal," is as incorrect as the supplying of ו cop. before הם הצי in 1 Chronicles 2:52 is unnecessary. The meaning is simply this: Shobal had sons Reaiah, Hazi-Hammenuhoth, and the families of Kirjath-jearim, viz., the family of Jether, etc. David's heroes, Ira and Gareb, 1 Chronicles 11:40; 2 Samuel 23:38, belonged to the family of Jether (היּתרי). The other three families are not met with elsewhere. מאלּה, of these, the four families of Kirjath-jearim just mentioned, came the Zoreathites and the Eshtaulites, the inhabitants of the town of Zoreah, the home of Samson, now the ruin Sura, and of Eshtaol, which perhaps may be identified with Um Eshteyeh (see in Joshua 15:33).
The sons of Salma; Bethlehem, and the Netophathites, Ataroth, the house of Joab, and half of the Manahethites, the Zorites.The descendants of Salma: Bethlehem, i.e., the family of Bethlehem (see on 1 Chronicles 2:52), the Netophathites, i.e., the inhabitants of the town of Netophah, which, according to our verse and Ezra 2:22, and especially Nehemiah 7:26, is to be looked for in the neighbourhood of Bethlehem (cf. 1 Chronicles 9:16); a family which produced at various times renowned men (cf. 2 Samuel 23:28.; 2 Kings 25:23; Ezra 2:22). The following words, י עטחרות ב, i.e., "crowns of the house of Joab," can only be the name of a place which is mentioned instead of its inhabitants; for עטרות occurs elsewhere, sometimes alone, and sometimes in conjunction with a proper name, as the name of places: cf. Numbers 32:34.; Joshua 16:2, Joshua 16:5,Joshua 16:7; Joshua 18:13. Hazi-Hammanahath is certainly to be sought in the neighbourhood of Manahath, 1 Chronicles 8:6, whose position has, however, not yet been ascertained. הצּרעי is only another form of הצּרעתי, and is derived from the masculine of the word. The Zorites here spoken of formed a second division of the inhabitants of Zoreah and the neighbourhood, along with the Zoreathites descended from Shobal, 1 Chronicles 2:53.
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."And the families of the writers (scribes) who inhabited Jabez." The position of the town Jabez, which is mentioned only here, and which derived its name from a descendant of Judah, has not yet been discovered, but is to be sought somewhere in the neighbourhood of Zoreah. This may be inferred from the fact that of the six שׂלמא בּני, two are always more closely connected with each other by ו cop.: (1) Bethlehem and Netophathite, (2) Ataroth-beth-Joab and Hazi-Hammanahath, (3) the Zoreites and the families of the Sopherim inhabiting Jabez. These last were divided into three branches, תּרעתים, שׁמעתים, שׂוּכתים, i.e., those descended from Tira, Shimea, and Suchah. The Vulgate has taken these words in an appellative sense of the occupations of these three classes, and translates canentes et resonantes et in tabernaculis commemorantes. But this interpretation is not made even probable by all that Bertheau has brought forward in support of it. Even if שׂוּכתים might perhaps be connected with סכּה, and interpreted "dwellers in tabernacles," yet no tenable reason can be found for translating תּרעתים and שׁמעתים by canentes et resonantes. שׁמעתי, from שׁמעה, "that which is heard," cannot signify those who repeat in words and song that which has been heard; and תּרעתי no more means canentes than it is connected (as Bertheau tries to show) with שׁערים htiw , "doorkeepers" (the Chaldee תּרע being equivalent to the Hebrew שׁער); and the addition, "These are the Kenites who came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab" (מן בּוא, to issue from any one, to be descended from any one), gives no proof of this, for the phrase itself is to us so very obscure. קינים are not inhabitants of the city Kain (Joshua 15:57) in the tribal domain of Judah (Kimchi), but, judging from the succeeding relative sentence, were descendants of Keni the father-in-law of Moses (Judges 1:16), who had come with Israel to Canaan, and dwelt there among the Israelites (Judges 4:11, Judges 4:17; Judges 5:24; 1 Samuel 15:6; 1 Samuel 27:10; 1 Samuel 30:29); and Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab, i.e., of the Rechabites (Jeremiah 35:6), is probably the grandfather of Jonadab the son of Rechab, with whom Jehu entered into alliance (2 Kings 10:15, 2 Kings 10:23). But how can the families of Sopherim inhabiting Jabez, which are here enumerated, be called descendants of Salma, who is descended from Hur the son of Caleb, a man of Judah, if they were Kenites, who issued from or were descendant of the grandfather of the family of the Rechabites? From lack of information, this question cannot be answered with certainty. In general, however, we may explain the incorporation of the Kenites in the Judaean family of the Calebite Salma, on the supposition that one of these Kenites of the family of Hobab, the brother-in-law of Moses, married an heiress of the race of Caleb. On this account the children and descendants sprung of this marriage would be incorporated in the family of Caleb, although they were on their father's side Kenites, and where they followed the manner of life of their fathers, might continue to be regarded as such, and to bear the name.