Today: [1 Chronicles One] The Genealogies. 1 Chronicles begins without introduction with a recitation of genealogy from Adam to the Dukes of Edom. Chronicles begins at the creation of man and continues through the time of monarchies of Israel. Jewish and Christian traditions hold that it was written by Ezra in the 5th century before Christ therefore during the exile after the destruction of Jerusalem. The purpose of the book while not specifically stated is undoubtedly to preserve a record of the lineage and history of a people now in captivity.
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[1Ch 1:1-54 KJV] 1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh, 2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, 3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, 4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 5 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. 6 And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. 7 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 8 The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 9 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. 10 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth. 11 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 12 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim. 13 And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, 14 The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, 15 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 16 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. 17 The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech. 18 And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber. 19 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one [was] Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother’s name [was] Joktan.
The genealogies found in 1 Chronicles are selective in nature. For instance they leave out Cain and Abel. Abel of course is not mentioned because he died without children. Cain is excluded because of the judgment of God on his life. The purpose is not to give a full accounting but to focus on a single purpose which for us as Christians is the recitation of what ultimately becomes the bloodline of Jesus. Despite these lengthy genealogies 1st and 2nd Chronicles were originally one book with the Hebrew name “The Matter of Days” which may be somewhat intentionally ambiguous in view of the fact it was written in captivity.
The genealogies though somewhat exasperating to us were very important to the exiles in Babylon. They reinforced the continuity of God’s purpose and plan for a people whose entire life, religion and culture had been forcibly ripped from them in the most brutal way. They were also tied to the land of Promise because in preserving the genealogies of specific families their tribal rights to ancestral lands remained intact.
20 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, 21 Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah, 22 And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba, 23 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these [were] the sons of Joktan. 24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27 Abram; the same [is] Abraham. 28 The sons of Abraham; Isaac, and Ishmael. 29 These [are] their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 30 Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. 32 Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham’s concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan. 33 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these [are] the sons of Keturah. 34 And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel. 35 The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah. 36 The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek. 37 The sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. 38 And the sons of Seir; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, and Dishon, and Ezer, and Dishan.
What about the lineage of Jewish people today? There is not one Jewish person alive today who can definitively say what tribe they belong to or what family line. In fact the ten tribes of the northern kingdom were essentially bred out of existence in the time of their captivity from whence they never returned. The families of the northern kingdom over the centuries have mixed their bloodlines among themselves and with Gentile families to the point of total obliterating of their familial heritage with the few exceptions of those whose surname gives indication they may have belonged to one family or another.
Why does this matter? Because in the book of Revelation the 12 tribes (excluding Dan) are mentioned as existing in contemporary settings in the end times. Critics of the bible use this as a justification to point out what they contend is another fallacy of the bible. Other teachers and writers (many who are well known in Christian culture) simply ignore this fact as though it matters not at all. Does genealogy matter? The writer of this very book (Ezra) in his lifetime presided over the forced breakup of the marriages of returning exiles and the disenfranchise of their pagan wives and children born to them on pain of excommunication and worse. Western theologians look at these difficulties and say “God understands it is not a problem …” But outside of Christ the law rules and the law states that children born outside of tribal lines have no heritage – therefore any so-called Jew with a bloodline mixed with either pagan blood or crossbred with another Jewish tribe or family line is no Jew at all. Why point this out? Whatever the meaning of the references to the 12 tribes in a New Testament sense it does not refer to literal bloodlines because they 1.) either do not exist, or 2.) are disqualified by virtue of cross breeding by which they would be excluded from their tribal identification. The tribal references by the prophets in the New Testament have a spiritual and not a literal connotation.
39 And the sons of Lotan; Hori, and Homam: and Timna [was] Lotan’s sister. 40 The sons of Shobal; Alian, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. And the sons of Zibeon; Aiah, and Anah. 41 The sons of Anah; Dishon. And the sons of Dishon; Amram, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran. 42 The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, [and] Jakan. The sons of Dishan; Uz, and Aran. 43 Now these [are] the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before [any] king reigned over the children of Israel; Bela the son of Beor: and the name of his city [was] Dinhabah. 44 And when Bela was dead, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. 45 And when Jobab was dead, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead. 46 And when Husham was dead, Hadad the son of Bedad, which smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city [was] Avith. 47 And when Hadad was dead, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. 48 And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead. 49 And when Shaul was dead, Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead. 50 And when Baalhanan was dead, Hadad reigned in his stead: and the name of his city [was] Pai; and his wife’s name [was] Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 51 Hadad died also. And the dukes of Edom were; duke Timnah, duke Aliah, duke Jetheth, 52 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon, 53 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar, 54 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram. These [are] the dukes of Edom.
It is important to note again that the books of Chronicles were originally one book, believed to be written by Ezra and constitute the final books of the Jewish canon. They were written just over 500 years before Christ and record events up to the destruction of Babylon by the prince of Persia. Much of the information contained in the Chronicles is a repetition of records from Genesis to 2 Kings. The translators of the Septuagint (a Greek version of the New Testament written before Jesus’ time) call this the book of “Things Left Out” which suggest that it was seen supplemental information to other books place prior to Chronicles in the order of the ancient canon.
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