The genealogies. Genealogies are important in many societies, especially those structured on familial relationships. They should not always
be understood literally and are used in the Bible, as elsewhere, to express the relationships between various clans and peoples
as well as to highlight the place of prominent individuals or to give them a pedigree. They play an especially important role
in Priestly thinking, and are reflected in postbiblical literature as well, for example in Matt. 1.1–17
. Given the interests of the Chronicler, it is not surprising that the genealogies of David and the descendants of Levi, the
Levites and priests, play a particularly prominent role in this section. Some of these chs have their source in other biblical
material, while other parts do not, reflecting the fact that the Chronicler had access to sources beyond what is now found
in the canonical Bible.
Adam to Israel. Although this material follows Genesis, its selection and arrangement (e.g., placing secondary lines of descent before the
primary) emphasizes the line culminating in Israel. There is no elaboration concerning Abraham, a point which, together with
other hints in Chronicles, suggests that Chronicles views Jacob/Israel (consistently referred to as Israel in Chronicles)
as the central patriarch; see 16.13
. This may be part of the book's “inclusivist,” pan‐Israel tendency.
The list of Edomite rulers from Gen. 36.31–43
is seemingly superfluous. Chronicles' point may be that physical descent alone is not determinative of one's worthiness;
alternately, the list appears for the sake of completeness.
With the exception of Dan (the son of Bilhah), the children of Israel are listed according to their mothers, beginning with
the children of Leah, then Rachel, then the concubines Bilhah and Zilpah.
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