1 Chronicles 2- 8 Genealogy from Sons of Israel till period of Ezra
Chapters 2-8 talks about the genealogy starting from the sons of Israel, by giving importance to the tribes of Judah and Levi as the author intend to focus on the Kings, especially Davidic Covenant his lineage. Also, he wanted to concentrate on the priestly system where they need to follow the Levitical laws, especially the sacrificial system.
Sons of Israel: 2:1&2.
The line of divine election culminates in the sons of Israel, the subject of the following genealogies. The Chronicler does not consider them in the order we have it in other two places.
Jacob’s twelve sons’ names order of birth:
Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun,Joseph, and Benjamin.
Jacob’s twelve sons’ names order of wives: Genesis 35:23-26
– The sons of Leah: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.
– The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
– The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan and Naphtali.
– The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher.
12 Tribes of Israel: It is our general understanding that the 12 Tribes of Israel are the 12 sons of Israel. By Jacob’s command [Gen 48.5], Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, were regarded as de facto “Tribes” of Israel. Thus, the land allocations of Joseph and Levi were given to Ephraim and Manasseh. [Josh 14:4]
Genealogy from Judah to David (1 Chronicles 2:3-4:23)
The scholars who dedicatedly worked on this think, the author is using a zoning method, so it is fragmentary. We may not see the connection unless we do a thorough study on this genealogy. Also, this is a complex because the focus of this genealogy is to lead to David, the central human character in Chronicles.
2:3-6 Sons of Judah… Judah becomes the leader of the other tribes and the source of David and his line. His sons were under God’s judgment, and the genealogy continues through Perez, one of the sons who were born to Tamar, the daughter in Law of Judah (Read the detailed story in Genesis 38).
2:7 …Achan… Achan, from 5th generation family from Judah and Tamar (2nd son). Genealogy continues through 1st son. Achan is the one who broke faith in the matter of devoted things. This is the first instance mention regarding Israel’s failure to reverence Yahweh and render to him his due in obedience. However, the author would show later that the penalty can be reversed by heartfelt repentance and faithful obedience.
2:9-17 …Jesse…., David… These verses are drawn mainly from Ruth 4:19–22.
2:18-24 … Caleb the son of Hezron…. Bezalel (20)… This is not the Joshua, the successor of Moses. The author is drawing the line to bring out the name Bezales (V.20) the principal craftsman for the Tabernacle of God. The Author made sure to refer the Tabernacle soon after talking about David.
2:25-41 … The author talks about 2 more lists and ends with Elishama, who may be a contemporary to David.
2:42–55 Continuation of vv. 18–24. comprising early lists of the descendants of Caleb (vv. 42–50a) and his son Hur (vv. 50b–55). Personal and place names are found together in this section. Hebron, Beth-zur, Kiriath-jearim, Bethlehem, These people may be the founders of the cities after their Name, or the leaders of the cities.
1 Chronicles 3:
The Genealogy of Ram:1 Chronicles 2:10-17 continues here. This is a combined list of Descendants of David in 3 sections.
1. David’s Children (3:1-9),
2. Solomon and the kings of Judah (10-16),
3. the Postexilic generations (17-24): Though monarchy fell and ceased to function after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C., the author continues the genealogy to testify to the promise of AN ENDURING “HOUSE” for David, through which the everlasting Kingdom of God would be established. READ 1 Chronicles 17: 10 – 14. (We will see more on this passage next week)
The emphatic message here is,
1. Judah leads the genealogies instead of Reuben, the firstborn,
2. The line of David’s descendants takes the center place in the genealogy,
3. Yet, Judah has the focus of HOPE AND EXPECTATION.