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1 Chronicles 7

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

 NASB  NKJV  NRSV  TEV   NJB
(LXX versing)
Genealogy from Issachar The Family of Issachar Descendants of Issachar Descendants of Issachar Issachar
7:1-5 7:1-5 7:1-5 7:1 7:1
7:2 7:2
7:3-4 7:3-5
7:5
Descendants of Benjamin The Family of Benjamin Descendants of Benjamin Descendants of Benjamin and Dan Benjamin
7:6-12 7:6-12 7:6-12 7:6 7:6
7:7 7:7
7:8-9 7:8-9
7:10-12a 7:10-11
7:12b Naphtali
Sons of Naphtali The Family of Naphtali Descendants of Naphtali Descendants of Naphtali 7:12
7:13 7:13 7:13 7:13 7:13
Descendants of Manasseh The Family of Manasseh (west) Descendants of Manasseh Descendants of Manasseh Manasseh
7:14-19 7:14-19 7:14-19 7:14-15 7:14-15a
7:15b
7:16-17 7:16
7:17
7:18-19 7:18
7:19
Descendants of Ephraim The Family of Ephraim Descendants of Ephraim Descendants of Ephraim Ephraim
7:20-27 7:20-27 7:20-29 7:20-23 7:20-24
7:24
7:25-27 7:25-27
7:28-29 7:28-29 7:28 7:28-29
7:29a
7:29b
Descendants of Asher The Family of Asher Descendants of Asher Descendants of Asher Asher
7:30-40 7:30-40 7:30-40 7:30 7:30
7:31 7:31-32
7:32
7:33 7:33
7:34 7:34
7:35 7:35-38
7:36-37
7:38-39
7:39
7:40 7:40

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. This is a brief genealogy of the northern tribes.
    1. Issachar ‒ 1 Chr. 7:1-5
    2. Benjamin (poss. Dan) ‒ 1 Chr. 7:6-12
    3. Naphtali ‒ 1 Chr. 7:13
    4. Manasseh ‒ 1 Chr. 7:14-19
    5. Ephraim ‒ 1 Chr. 7:20-27
    6. Asher ‒ 1 Chr. 7:30-40

  2. Why is there such divergence in the spelling of the names?
    1. They are different persons by the same name. Often names recur in families and periods.
    2. There are two separate genealogies combined by an editor.
    3. The person went by two names.
    4. The person's name was changed.
    5. The term "son" can refer to a wide number of relatives (grandson, uncle, brother, etc.).
    6. The first father died and the wife remarried or there was Levirate marriage involved.
    7. Ancient Jewish genealogies are often incomplete.

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 7:1-5
1Now the sons of Issachar were four: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron. 2The sons of Tola were Uzzi, Rephaiah, Jeriel, Jahmai, Ibsam and Samuel, heads of their fathers' households. The sons of Tola were mighty men of valor in their generations; their number in the days of David was 22,600. 3The son of Uzzi was Izrahiah. And the sons of Izrahiah were Michael, Obadiah, Joel, Isshiah; all five of them were chief men. 4With them by their generations according to their fathers' households were 36,000 troops of the army for war, for they had many wives and sons. 5Their relatives among all the families of Issachar were mighty men of valor, enrolled by genealogy, in all 87,000.

7:1 "Puah" In Gen. 46:13, "Puuah."

▣ "Jashub" In Gen. 46:13, "Iob."

7:2 "mighty men of valor" This phrase, referring to their fighting ability and bravery, is also mentioned in 1 Chr. 7:5,7,9,11,40.

▣ "in the days of David" Therefore, the above phrase refers to "the mighty men" of David's day, whether before he was king or after is not stated, but usually refers to before.

▣ "22,600" There are many numbers in this chapter that do not agree with the book of Numbers. A good resource to understand some of the number problems in the OT is G. E. Mendenhall, The Census Lists of Numbers 1 and 26, JBL 77 (1958), pp. 52-66.

7:3 "all five of them were chief men" This shows the selective nature of these genealogies or that the word "chief" (BDB 910) had a different meaning.

SPECIAL TOPIC: HEAD

7:4
NASB, NKJV, NJB  "troops"
NRSV, JPSOA  "units"
REB, NASB margin  "bands"

The MT has "band" or "troop" (BDB 151, cf. 2 Chr. 25:9,10; 26:11). The army was divided into fighting units. This issue is complicated by a similar use of the word "thousand" for a military unit.

SPECIAL TOPIC: THOUSAND (eleph)

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 7:6-12
6The sons of Benjamin were three: Bela and Becher and Jediael. 7The sons of Bela were five: Ezbon, Uzzi, Uzziel, Jerimoth and Iri. They were heads of fathers' households, mighty men of valor, and were 22,034 enrolled by genealogy. 8The sons of Becher were Zemirah, Joash, Eliezer, Elioenai, Omri, Jeremoth, Abijah, Anathoth and Alemeth. All these were the sons of Becher. 9They were enrolled by genealogy, according to their generations, heads of their fathers' households, 20,200 mighty men of valor. 10The son of Jediael was Bilhan. And the sons of Bilhan were Jeush, Benjamin, Ehud, Chenaanah, Zethan, Tarshish and Ahishahar. 11All these were sons of Jediael, according to the heads of their fathers' households, 17,200 mighty men of valor, who were ready to go out with the army to war. 12Shuppim and Huppim were the sons of Ir; Hushim was the son of Aher.

7:6-12 It is uncertain why Benjamin is mentioned in this list of northern genealogies. The list of Bela's descendants is expanded in 1 Chronicles 8, especially the person of Ehud (2 Chr. 8:6). He is one of the Judges (cf. Judges 3) who killed the king of Moab, Eglon, and delivered Israel.

Lists of Benjamin's sons

Gen. 46:21 Num. 26:38-39 1 Chr. 7:6 1 Chronicles 8
Bela Bela Bela Bela
Becher Becher
Ashbel Ashbel Ashbel
Gera
Naaman
Ehi Ahiram
Rosh
Muppim Shephupham
Huppim Hupham
Ard
Jediael
Aharah
Nohah
Rapha

The only common name is the firstborn, "Bela." Why do these lists differ so much? See Contextual Insights, 1 Chronicles 6, D.

7:10 "Jeush" The Kethiv is "Jeish," but the Qere is "Jeush."

7:12 "Shuppim" In Gen. 46:21, "Muppim." Because they are PLURAL, these names may reflect clans not an individual (cf. 1 Chr. 7:15).

▣ "Huppim" In Numbers 26:39 it is "Hupham."

▣ "Ir" In 1 Chr. 7:7, "Iri."

▣ "Hushim" In both the genealogies of Israel in Genesis 46 and Numbers 26, the list of Dan's descendants follows the list of Benjamin's descendants. Surprisingly, Dan is omitted here. But because the name "Hushim" does not appear, which is the name of both a Benjamite (here) and a Danite (cf. Gen. 46:23), some have suggested parts of the original genealogy have dropped out of the text.

SPECIAL TOPIC: TEXTUAL CRITICISM

▣ "Aher" In Numbers 26:38, "Ahiram."

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 7:13
13The sons of Naphtali were Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shallum, the sons of Bilhah.

7:13 The brevity of the list of Naphtali is purposeful or records have been lost. This list follows Gen. 46:24-25.

▣ "Jahziel" In Gen. 46:24, "Jahzeel."

▣ "Shallum" In Gen. 46:24 and Num. 26:49, "Shillem."

▣ "the sons of Bilhah" She bore to Jacob "Dan" and "Naphtali" (cf. Gen. 46:23-25).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 7:14-19
14The sons of Manasseh were Asriel, whom his Aramean concubine bore; she bore Machir the father of Gilead. 15Machir took a wife for Huppim and Shuppim, whose sister's name was Maacah. And the name of the second was Zelophehad, and Zelophehad had daughters. 16Maacah the wife of Machir bore a son, and she named him Peresh; and the name of his brother was Sheresh, and his sons were Ulam and Rakem. 17The son of Ulam was Bedan. These were the sons of Gilead the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh. 18His sister Hammolecheth bore Ishhod and Abiezer and Mahlah. 19The sons of Shemida were Ahian and Shechem and Likhi and Aniam.

7:14-19 This paragraph mentions women an unusual number of times.

  1. 1 Chr. 7:14, "his Aramean concubine"
  2. 1 Chr. 7:15, "a wife. . .whose sister's name was Maacah"
  3. 1 Chr. 7:15, "daughters"
  4. 1 Chr. 7:16, "she named him"
  5. 1 Chr. 7:18, "his sister"

This listing is meant to represent the part of Manasseh that settled in Canaan.

7:15 "Huppim and Shuppim" Because these are PLURAL, some scholars think they might be clans.

▣ "Maacah" The LXX has "Moocha" and places it in verse 16.

▣ "Zelophehad had daughters" This is also recorded in Num. 26:33. In Numbers 27 these daughters ask Moses to allow them to inherit their father's land because all the male children died, and Moses does, so as to keep the God-given land (cf. Joshua) in the tribe and family.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 7:20-27
20The sons of Ephraim were Shuthelah and Bered his son, Tahath his son, Eleadah his son, Tahath his son, 21Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to take their livestock. 22Their father Ephraim mourned many days, and his relatives came to comfort him. 23Then he went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son, and he named him Beriah, because misfortune had come upon his house. 24His daughter was Sheerah, who built lower and upper Beth-horon, also Uzzen-sheerah. 25Rephah was his son along with Resheph, Telah his son, Tahan his son, 26Ladan his son, Ammihud his son, Elishama his son, 27Non his son and Joshua his son.

7:21-23 This is a brief historical note explaining the name "Beriah" (a PREPOSITION, ב plus root BDB 947 = the name, BDB 140), which means "trouble" or "tragedy" (BDB 947).

7:24 This is another brief historical note about the building projects of Ephraim's granddaughter, "Sheerah."

"Beth-horon" was a levitical city in the tribal allocation of Ephraim.

"Uzzen-sheerah," a city name, occurs only here in the OT. Sheerah built three cities.

7:27 "Non" In Exod. 33:11 "Nun." This is the father of Joshua, the servant and later successor of Moses.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 7:28-29
28Their possessions and settlements were Bethel with its towns, and to the east Naaran, and to the west Gezer with its towns, and Shechem with its towns as far as Ayyah with its towns, 29and along the borders of the sons of Manasseh, Beth-shean with its towns, Taanach with its towns, Megiddo with its towns, Dor with its towns. In these lived the sons of Joseph the son of Israel.

7:28 "Naaran" In Joshua 16:7, "Naarah."

▣ "Ayyah" In LXX, Targums, Vulgate, "Azzah" or "Gazza" (NEB). The UBS Text Project (p. 407) gives "Ayyah" a "B" rating (some doubt).

▣ "with its towns" This phrase refers to the unwalled villages surrounding larger cities.

7:29 "Beth-shean" This (cf. Jos. 17:11,16; Jdgs. 1:27) is a variant spelling of "Beth-shan," a city in the tribal allocation of Manasseh (cf. 1 Sam. 31:10,12).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 7:30-40
30The sons of Asher were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah, and Serah their sister. 31The sons of Beriah were Heber and Malchiel, who was the father of Birzaith. 32Heber became the father of Japhlet, Shomer and Hotham, and Shua their sister. 33The sons of Japhlet were Pasach, Bimhal and Ashvath. These were the sons of Japhlet. 34The sons of Shemer were Ahi and Rohgah, Jehubbah and Aram. 35The sons of his brother Helem were Zophah, Imna, Shelesh and Amal. 36The sons of Zophah were Suah, Harnepher, Shual, Beri and Imrah, 37Bezer, Hod, Shamma, Shilshah, Ithran and Beera. 38The sons of Jether were Jephunneh, Pispa and Ara. 39The sons of Ulla were Arah, Hanniel and Rizia. 40All these were the sons of Asher, heads of the fathers' houses, choice and mighty men of valor, heads of the princes. And the number of them enrolled by genealogy for service in war was 26,000 men.

7:32 "Shomer" In 1 Chr. 7:34 the same person's name is spelled "Shemer."

▣ "Hotham" In 1 Chr. 7:35 the name is spelled "Helen."

7:34 "were Ahi" It is possible that the MT should read "his brother" (BDB 26, TEV, NJB).

7:40 Notice how the sons of Asher are characterized.

  1. choice
  2. mighty men of valor
  3. heads of the princes

These were important military people/leaders.

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