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1 Chronicles 2


(LXX versing)
Genealogy: Twelve Sons of Jacob (Israel) The Family of Israel Descendants of Judah The Descendants of Judah The Sons of Israel
2:1-2 2:1-2 2:1-4 2:1-2 2:1-2
From Judah to David The Descendants of Judah
2:3-4 2:3-17 2:3-4 2:3-4
2:5-8 2:5-8 2:5-7 2:5
2:8 2:8
Genealogy of David The Family Tree of King David The Ancestors of David
2:9-17 2:9-17 2:9 2:9
2:10-12 2:10-17
The Family of Hezron Descendants of Hezron Caleb
2:18-20 2:18-20 2:18-20 2:18-20 2:18-20
2:21-24 2:21-24 2:21-24 2:21-24 2:21-23
The Family of Jerahmeel The Descendants of Jerahmeel Jerahmeel
2:25-41 2:25-33 2:25-41 2:25-28 2:25-26
2:34-41 2:34-41 2:34-41
The Family of Caleb Other Descendants of Caleb Caleb
2:42-50a 2:42-49 2:42-50a 2:42-45 2:42-45
2:46 2:46
2:47 2:47
2:48-49a 2:48-49
2:50-55 2:50b-51 2:50a
2:50b-55 2:50b-55 2:50b-53
2:54 2:54-55

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


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.


  1. What is the purpose of genealogies?
    1. establish family ties (i.e., heirs of the covenant to Abraham)
    2. establish land claims of returning Jewish exiles
    3. list the main or important descendants to give honor to the family

    It must be remembered that these biblical genealogies are not complete. They are often structured to highlight certain ancestors (see K. A. Kitchen, Ancient Orient and the Old Testament, p. 55, #3; NIDOTTE, vol. 4, pp. 654-663).

  2. Obviously the author is highlighting
    1. Judah (cf. Gen. 49:8-12, esp. verse 10). Most of the exiles who returned from Babylonian exile were of the tribe of Judah.
    2. King David (cf. 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17; Israel's eschatological hope). The descendants of Ram (David's family) are presented first (1 Chr. 2:10-17) and last (1 Chr. 3:1-24).
    3. later, the line of Levi (the Chronicler is interested in the line of Levi, esp. the Levites)

  3. This chapter draws its information from
    1. Genesis 35; 38; 46
    2. Exodus 1:1-5
    3. Numbers 1:7; 32:41-42
    4. Joshua 7; 14; 15
    5. Ruth 4:18-22
    6. 1 Samuel 27:10

  4. Notice the genealogies of the tribes of Dan and Zebulon are omitted (although they are listed in 1 Chr. 2:1-2), whether purposefully or by textual error is uncertain. They are listed in verse 2 but not developed.


1These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, 2Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad and Asher.

2:1 "sons" The Hebrew word "ben" (BDB 119) has a wide semantical field. It can denote

  1. child
  2. grandchild
  3. descendant

Therefore, it is uniquely suited to be used in ANE genealogies. Remember, this is not modern history.


3The sons of Judah were Er, Onan and Shelah; these three were born to him by Bath-shua the Canaanitess. And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, so He put him to death. 4Tamar his daughter-in-law bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all.

2:3 "Er" This man is also mentioned in Gen. 38:7 as doing evil in the sight of YHWH, but it does not specify what that evil was. Both texts assert that YHWH took his life. I would assume it had to do with idolatry.

▣ "Bath-shua the Canaanitess" See note at 1 Chr. 2:17.

2:4 This event is recorded in Genesis 38, see notes online.

5The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 6The sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol and Dara; five of them in all. 7The son of Carmi was Achar, the troubler of Israel, who violated the ban. 8The son of Ethan was Azariah.

2:6 "Dara" In 1 Kings 4:31 this person's name is spelled "Darda" (cf. REB). However, the UBS Text Project, p. 389, gives "Dara" a "B" rating (some doubt). The LXX, along with the MT, has "Dara."

▣ "Zimri" In Joshua 7:1, he is called "Zabdi."

▣ "Ethan, Heman" These are musicians who wrote (and sang) Psalms 88 and 89. There they are called "Ezrahites." These may have been from Judah but another "Heman" was from the tribe of Levi (cf. 1 Chr. 6:33-44). These Hebrew names were used often in Hebrew families. Only a specific context or genealogy can link them.

2:7 "Achar" In Joshua 7 this person's name is spelled "Achan." The UBS Text Project, p. 390, suggests "Achar" and gives it a "B" rating (some doubt). The LXX and MT have "Achar," which means "trouble" (BDB 747, cf. Jos. 7:24-26). Achan surely caused Israel trouble in Joshua 7, when he stole things from Jericho which were totally devoted to God (i.e., under the ban.


9Now the sons of Hezron, who were born to him were Jerahmeel, Ram and Chelubai. 10Ram became the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, leader of the sons of Judah; 11Nahshon became the father of Salma, Salma became the father of Boaz, 12Boaz became the father of Obed, and Obed became the father of Jesse; 13and Jesse became the father of Eliab his firstborn, then Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, 14Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, 15Ozem the sixth, David the seventh; 16and their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. And the three sons of Zeruiah were Abshai, Joab and Asahel. 17Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.

2:9 "Chelubai" In Jos. 14:6 and 1 Chr. 2:18 this person's name is spelled "Caleb" (cf. LXX), as it is in 1 Chr. 2:18.

1 Chronicles 2:9-12 is taken from or related to Ruth 4:19-27 (or a common textual tradition).

2:11 "Salma" In the genealogy of Ruth 4:21, a man is named "Salmon" (cf. LXX).

2:13-15 This is a developed genealogy from 1 Sam. 16:6-9, but expanded.

2:15 "David the seventh" In 1 Samuel 16 and 17 (esp. 17:10) Jesse has eight sons. One wonders if "seventh" was a literary way of showing prominence.


2:16 "Abshai" In 2 Sam. 2:18 it is spelled "Abishai."

2:17 "Jether the Ishmaelite" This inclusion of a non-Jewish ancestor caused the rabbis problems, as did Judah's Canaanite wife in 1 Chr. 2:3 and Ruth the Moabitess (see NT genealogies). It, theologically for NT readers, shows inclusiveness (cf. John 3:16).

In 2 Sam. 17:25 this man is called "Jithra the Israelite." Some rabbis tried to make Jether an Israelite who lived in Ishmaelite territory (see Jewish Study Bible, p. 1719).


18Now Caleb the son of Hezron had sons by Azubah his wife, and by Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20Hur became the father of Uri, and Uri became the father of Bezalel.

2:18 "Caleb the son of Hezron" There are two "Calebs" in this genealogy.

  1. Caleb the son of Jezron, who is a descendant from the tribe of Judah (1 Chr 2:18-20)
  2. Caleb the son of Jerahmeel, who was one of the faithful spies (cf. 1 Chr. 2:46-50a, Num. 13:6,30; 14:6,24,30,38; Jos. 14:6; 15:13,14,16,17,18; 21:12). He was a Kenizzite. The Kenizzites were related to the Midianites. Some of them lived in southern Judah and became incorporated into Judah (as did the tribe of Simeon).

Some scholars think there is a third "Caleb, son of Hur" mentioned in 1 Chr. 2:50a (i.e., Jerome Biblical Commentary, p. 406), but I think it is a summary statement linking to 1 Chr. 2:42-49. So, 1 Chr. 1:50b should start a new paragraph (cf. NRSV, NJB, JPSOA).

▣ "by Azubah. . .by Jerioth" This refers to two women who bore children to Caleb (cf. NKJV, NRSV, JPSOA).

The NJB translates this as Caleb fathering Jerioth by Azubah. The TEV translates it as "Caleb married Azubah and had a daughter called Jerioth."

The NET Bible has " by his wife Azubah (also known as Jerioth)."

The "Caleb son of Hezron" mentioned here is not the same as the famous, faithful spy of Joshua (i.e., Caleb son of, see Contextual Insights, D.).

2:20 "Bezalel" This man was one of the chief God-gifted artisans of the Tabernacle (cf. Exod. 31:2; 35:30; 36:1-2; 37:1; 38:22).

21Afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub. 22Segub became the father of Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. 23But Geshur and Aram took the towns of Jair from them, with Kenath and its villages, even sixty cities. All these were the sons of Machir, the father of Gilead. 24After the death of Hezron in Caleb-ephrathah, Abijah, Hezron's wife, bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa.

2:23 The names in the first part of this verse may refer to towns not people. This is also true of the children mentioned in 1 Chr. 2:42-49, who became towns, regions of Judah.

The "sixty cities" are mentioned in Jos. 13:30.

▣ "Geshur" This was an independent kingdom in the trans-Jordan area (cf. Deut. 3:14; Jos. 12:5; 13:2,11,13; 2 Sam. 3:3; 13:37; 14:23; 15:8).

▣ "Aram" This refers to the kingdom in the highlands north of Israel to the Euphrates. Its is also known as "Aramea" or "Syria."

2:24 "in Caleb-ephrathah" The LXX translates this as "Chaleb went in to Ephratha," which could refer to

  1. sexual relations with a woman named Ephratha" (TEV says, "his father's widow," cf. NJB)
  2. Caleb entered Ephratha (i.e., a town or area, cf. Vulgate)

The NKJV and NRSV suggest that "Caleb-ephrathah" was the geographical site of Hezron's death.

25Now the sons of Jerahmeel the firstborn of Hezron were Ram the firstborn, then Bunah, Oren, Ozem and Ahijah. 26Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27The sons of Ram, the firstborn of Jerahmeel, were Maaz, Jamin and Eker. 28The sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. And the sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur. 29The name of Abishur's wife was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid. 30The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim, and Seled died without sons. 31The son of Appaim was Ishi. And the son of Ishi was Sheshan. And the son of Sheshan was Ahlai. 32The sons of Jada the brother of Shammai were Jether and Jonathan, and Jether died without sons. 33The sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel. 34Now Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. And Sheshan had an Egyptian servant whose name was Jarha. 35Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant in marriage, and she bore him Attai. 36Attai became the father of Nathan, and Nathan became the father of Zabad, 37and Zabad became the father of Ephlal, and Ephlal became the father of Obed, 38and Obed became the father of Jehu, and Jehu became the father of Azariah, 39and Azariah became the father of Helez, and Helez became the father of Eleasah, 40and Eleasah became the father of Sismai, and Sismai became the father of Shallum, 41and Shallum became the father of Jekamiah, and Jekamiah became the father of Elishama.

2:25 "Now the sons of Jerahmeel . . " Notice how 1 Chr. 2:25 and 33 are a literary bracketing ( inclusio ). This is the only place in the Bible this man's descendants are listed.

1 Samuel 27:10; 30:27-29 state that these people are connected to the Negev.

2:31,34 "the son of Sheshan was Ahlai" We learn from 1 Chr. 2:24 that this man had no sons but gave his daughters to an Egyptian slave so that the children were considered his (similar to Jacob's wife giving him her slaves to bear children and heirs).

2:41 The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 335, mentions that "Elishama" represents the twentythird generation of Israel's son Judah. J. Barton Payne suggests a date of about 1100 B.C., which would be the time of Jesse.

42Now the sons of Caleb, the brother of Jerahmeel, were Mesha his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph; and his son was Mareshah, the father of Hebron. 43The sons of Hebron were Korah and Tappuah and Rekem and Shema. 44Shema became the father of Raham, the father of Jorkeam; and Rekem became the father of Shammai. 45The son of Shammai was Maon, and Maon was the father of Bethzur. 46Ephah, Caleb's concubine, bore Haran, Moza and Gazez; and Haran became the father of Gazez. 47The sons of Jahdai were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah and Shaaph. 48Maacah, Caleb's concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah. 49She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbena and the father of Gibea; and the daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 50These were the sons of Caleb.

2:46 "concubine" This (BDB 477) refers to a legal, sexual partner, but one whose children would not inherit equally (or at all) with the children of a wife (cf. NIDOTTE, vol. 3, pp. 618-619).

2:49 "Achsah" This was a daughter of Caleb the son of Jephunneh (cf. Num. 13:6,30; 14:6,24,30,38; 26:65; 32:12; 34:19), not Caleb son of Hezron (cf. 1 Chr. 2:18-24). She is given to Caleb's brother Othniel (cf. Jdgs. 3:9) as a wife for his military victories (cf. Jos. 25:15-19).

50bThe sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, were Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim, 51Salma the father of Bethlehem and Hareph the father of Beth-gader. 52Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim had sons: Haroeh, half of the Manahathites, 53and the families of Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites and the Mishraites; from these came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. 54The sons of Salma were Bethlehem and the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites. 55The families of scribes who lived at Jabez were the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. Those are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.

2:50b "Ephrathah" The MT has this name here, but in 1 Chr. 2:19 it is "Ephrath." Obviously this name has caused trouble for copiers (cf. 1 Chr. 2:24) because it became a place name (cf. Micah 5:2).

2:52 "Manahathites" The MT has a slightly different spelling between 1 Chr. 2:52 and 54, but obviously the same person.

2:55 "the families of scribes" The term "scribes" (BDB 708) could be another person's name (AB, p. 12) or a list of tribal guilds (AB, p. 16). The NASB Study Bible, p. 556, suggests they may refer to scribes with different functions (i.e., those who read, copy, or check the copies).


▣ "Kenites" They are first mentioned in Gen. 15:19 in Canaan. Moses' father-in-law is said to be a Kenite (cf. Jdgs. 1:16). If so, the Kenites and Midianites are linked.

The group of Kenites related to Caleb, the faithful spy, were incorporated into Judah (cf. Num. 10:29-32).

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