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1 Chronicles 1

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

 NASB  NKJV  NRSV  TEV   NJB
(LXX versing)
Genealogy from Adam The Family of Adam - Seth to Abraham The Place of Abraham and His Descendants Among the Nations From Adam to Abraham The Origin of the Three Ethnic Groups
1:1-7 1:1-7 1:1-4 1:1-4 1:1-4
The Japhethites
1:5-7 1:5-7 1:5
1:6-7
The Hamites
1:8-10 1:8-16 1:8-10 1:8-16 1:8
1:9-10
1:11-12 1:11-12 1:11-16
1:13-16 1:13-16 The Samites
1:17-23 1:17-23 1:17-23 1:17-23 1:17a
1:17b
1:18-19
1:20-23
From Shem to Abraham
1:24-27 1:24-28 1:24-27 1:24-27 1:24-29a
Descendants of Abraham The Descendants of Ishmael
1:28-33 The Family of Ishmael 1:28-33 1:28-31 The Ishmaelites
1:29-31 1:29b-31
The Family of Keturah
1:32-33 1:32-33 1:32-33
The Family of Isaac The Descendants of Esau Isaac and Esau
1:34-42 1:34-37 1:34-37 1:34-37 1:34
1:35-37
The Family of Seir The Original Inhabitants of Edom Seir
1:38-42 1:38-42 1:38-42 1:38-42
The Kings of Edom The Kings of Edom The Kings of Edom
1:43-51a 1:43-54 1:43-51a 1:43-50
 (43b-50)
1:43-50
The Chiefs of Edom
1:51b-54 1:51b-54 1:51-54 1:51-54

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS

  1. Chronicles starts with Adam not Abraham. There is an eternal purpose in creation as well as an eternal redemptive plan. See SPECIAL TOPIC: YHWH'S ETERNAL REDEMPTIVE PLAN .

  2. Note the progression.
    1. Adam (Cain and Abel not mentioned) to Noah, 1 Chr. 1:1-4
    2. Noah's children, 1 Chr. 1:4,5-23
      1. Shem, 1 Chr. 1:17-23 (emphasis noted by length of genealogy)
      2. Ham, 1 Chr. 1:8-16
      3. Japheth, 1 Chr. 1:5-7
    3. Shem to Abraham, 1 Chr. 1:24-27
    4. descendants of Abraham, 1 Chr. 1:28-42
      1. Ishmael, 1 Chr. 1:29-33
      2. Isaac, 1 Chr. 1:35-42
        (1) Esau, 1 Chr. 1:35-42
        (2) Israel/Jacob (picks up in second chapter)
    5. leaders in Esau's family, 1 Chr. 1:43-54 (see SPECIAL TOPIC: EDOM AND ISRAEL )

  3. A Hebrew post-exilic hearer/reader would immediately relate to the book of Genesis. Many of these names had special meaning to the Jewish people. Their story as a people is reflected in this text!

  4. Often these individual's names later referred to
    1. families
    2. tribes
    3. regions
    4. nations
    5. towns
    6. languages (i.e., Genesis 10-11)

    For a good brief discussion of the sub-genre of genealogies see NIDOTTE, vol. 4, pp. 654-662.

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:1-7
1Adam, Seth, Enosh, 2Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, 3Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, 4Noah, Shem, Ham and Japheth. 5The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech and Tiras. 6The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz, Diphath, and Togarmah. 7The sons of Javan were Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim and Rodanim.

1:1 "Adam" This Hebrew word (BDB 9) is the general term for human person.

  1. a man ‒ Gen. 2:5,7,8,15,16,18,19
  2. mankind ‒ Gen. 1:26; 6:2,5,6,7; 9:5,6
  3. both male and female ‒ Gen. 1:27; 5:2
  4. proper name ‒ possibly Gen. 2:19,20,21,23; 3:8,9,17,20,21; 4:1,25; 5:1,2,3,4,5; Deut. 32:8; 1 Chr. 1:1

It is often hard, in the context of Genesis, to know if God is addressing "the man" or Adam.

▣ "Enosh" He is mentioned in Gen. 4:26; 5:6,7,9,10,11; 1 Chr. 1:1. His name (BDB 60) means "man" or "mankind." It is used synonymously with "Adam" (BDB 9, see note at Gen. 2:20) in Job 25:6; Ps. 8:4; 96:3; 144:3; Isa. 51:12; 56:2.

1:2 "Kenan" See Gen. 5:9-10 online. The meaning of his name is uncertain (BDB 884).

▣ "Mahalalel" See Gen. 5:13,15-17 online.

▣ "Jared" See Gen. 5:15 online.

1:3 "Enoch" See Gen. 5:18-24 online. He (BDB 335) was taken to be with God, Gen. 5:22-24.

▣ "Methuselah" See Gen. 5:25-27 online. He (BDB 607) lived longer than any person recorded in the OT.

▣ "Lamech" See Gen. 5:26-31 online. The person by this name (BDB 541) in Seth's line is hopeful of God's mercy, while the one by the same name in Cain's line is a violent man.

1:4 "Noah" See Gen. 5:29 online. The sons of this "blameless" man (cf. Gen. 6:9) are named in Gen. 5:32.

His life is recorded in Genesis 6-9.

His sons' genealogies are recorded in Genesis 10.

  1. Japheth ‒ Gen. 10:2-5
  2. Ham ‒ Gen. 10:6-14,15-20
  3. Shem ‒ Gen. 10:21-31

1:5 These men and their descendants settled in modern Turkey (Anatolia) and are used as symbols of rebellious nations in Ezekiel 38-39.

1:6 "Diphath" In Gen. 10:3, "Riphath" (LXX). The Hebrew letters "d" and "r" are very similar and often confused in Hebrew writings.

1:7 "Rodanim" In Gen. 10:4 it is "Dodanim" (LXX). Again, a confusion of the "d" and "r."

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:8-10
8The sons of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 9The sons of Cush were Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama and Sabteca; and the sons of Raamah were Sheba and Dedan. 10Cush became the father of Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one in the earth.

1:8 "Canaan" His children are mentioned in 1 Chr. 1:13-16.

SPECIAL TOPIC: PRE-ISRAELITE INHABITANTS OF PALESTINE

1:9 "Raamah" Sometimes the name has the final "h" (cf. Gen. 10:7) and sometimes not (MT of 1 Chr. 1:9).

Both names appear in 1 Chr. 1:9.

1:10 "Nimrod" See Gen. 10:8,9 online. He (BDB 650) was a mighty man whose life is described in Genesis 10; see notes there.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:11-12
11Mizraim became the father of the people of Lud, Anam, Lehab, Naphtuh, 12Pathrus, Casluh, from which the Philistines came, and Caphtor.

1:11 "Mizraim" See Gen. 10:13 online. He (BDB 595) and his descendants would become the inhabitants of southern Egypt.

1:12 "from which the Philistines came" This phrase relates to "Caphtor" (cf. Amos 9:7) not "Casluh" (i.e., 1 Chr. 1:12). For notes on the Philistines see Gen. 26:1 online.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:13-16
13Canaan became the father of Sidon, his firstborn, Heth, 14and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 15the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 16the Arvadites, the Zemarites and the Hamathites.

1:13-16 See SPECIAL TOPIC: PRE-ISRAELITE INHABITANTS OF PALESTINE.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:17-23
17The sons of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshech. 18Arpachshad became the father of Shelah and Shelah became the father of Eber. 19Two sons were born to Eber, the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother's name was Joktan. 20Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23Ophir, Havilah and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan.

1:17 "Aram" Genesis 10:23 adds, "the sons of," which has dropped out in the MT. Aram's people are called Aramaeans or Syrians.

▣ "Meshech" In Gen. 10:23 "Mash"; in LXX totally different and an abbreviated list.

1:18 "Eber" See note at Gen. 10:21 online.

1:19 "for in his days the earth was divided" See note at Gen. 10:25 online. AB (p. 6) suggests the VERB "divided" (BDB 811, KB 928, Niphal PERFECT) means "districts" and, therefore, is geographical. Other scholars, because of Genesis 10-11, suggest it refers to languages being divided because of the tower of Babel.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:24-27
24Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah, 25Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27Abram, that is Abraham.

1:27 "Abram, that is Abraham" The story of Abraham is found in Genesis 12-24, see notes online.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:28-33
28The sons of Abraham were Isaac and Ishmael. 29These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael was Nebaioth, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah; these were the sons of Ishmael. 32The sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine, whom she bore, were Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan were Sheba and Dedan. 33The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All these were the sons of Keturah.

1:32 "concubine" This term (BDB 811) was a legal, but second tier, wife. Her children would not legally inherit, as would the children of a wife. Keturah is designated a concubine in Gen. 25:6. She had six sons by Abraham.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:34-42
34Abraham became the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac were Esau and Israel. 35The sons of Esau were Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam and Korah. 36The sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna and Amalek. 37The sons of Reuel were Nahath, Zerah, Shammah and Mizzah. 38The sons of Seir were Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer and Dishan. 39The sons of Lotan were Hori and Homam; and Lotan's sister was Timna. 40The sons of Shobal were Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi and Onam. And the sons of Zibeon were Aiah and Anah. 41The son of Anah was Dishon. And the sons of Dishon were Hamran, Eshban, Ithran and Cheran. 42The sons of Ezer were Bilhan, Zaavan and Jaakan. The sons of Dishan were Uz and Aran.

1:36 "Zephi" In Gen. 36:11 "Zepho"; in LXX "Sophar."

▣ "Timna" In Gen. 36:12 this person is the concubine of Eliphaz, who bore "Amalek."

1:39 "Timna" This may be the mother mentioned in 1 Chr. 1:36 (cf. Gen. 36:12).

1:40 "Alian" In Gen. 36:23 "Alvan"; in LXX "Golam."

▣ "Shephi" In Gen. 36:23 "Shepho."

1:41 "Hamran" In Gen. 36:26 "Hemdan"; in LXX "Hemeron." Again a problem with the Hebrew "d" and "r."

1:42 "Jaakan" In Gen. 36:27 "Akan"; in LXX "Lokan."

  1. Gen. 36:27 ‒ ועקן
  2. 1 Chr. 1:42 ‒ יעקן

▣ "Dishan" This is from Gen. 36:28. The MT has "Dishon."

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:43-51a
43Now these are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king of the sons of Israel reigned. Bela was the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 44When Bela died, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah became king in his place. 45When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites became king in his place. 46When Husham died, Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the field of Moab, became king in his place; and the name of his city was Avith. 47When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah became king in his place. 48When Samlah died, Shaul of Rehoboth by the River became king in his place. 49When Shaul died, Baal-hanan the son of Achbor became king in his place. 50When Baal-hanan died, Hadad became king in his place; and the name of his city was Pai, and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 51Then Hadad died.

1:46 "in the field of" This is idiomatic for "the land of" (cf. NIDOTTE, vol. 3, p. 1217, cf. Gen. 36:35; Num. 21:20; 1 Chr. 8:8).

▣ "Avith" The LXX has "Geththaim," but Gen. 36:35 has "Avith."

1:50 "Baal-hanan" Genesis 36:39 adds "son of Achbor." "Baal" reflects the name of the male fertility god of Canaan.

SPECIAL TOPIC: FERTILITY WORSHIP OF THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST

▣ "Hadad" In Gen. 36:39 "Hadar." Hadad is also the name of a western Semitic rain god. The names "Baal" and "Hadad" were often combined or became parts of names separately. Note again the confusion of the Hebrew "d" and "r."

▣ "Pai" In Gen. 36:39 it is "Pau"; in the LXX "Phogor."

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 1:51b-54
51bNow the chiefs of Edom were: chief Timna, chief Aliah, chief Jetheth, 52chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, 53chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, 54chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. What is the purpose(s) of the extended genealogy in 1 Chronicles 1-9?
  2. Which OT covenant does Chronicles seem to elevate and why?
  3. Why is 1 Chronicles different from Samuel?
  4. Why does this genealogy start with Adam and not Abraham?
  5. If this is a genealogy of the people of God, Israel, why such a long list of Edomite leaders?

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