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1 Chronicles: Chapter 1

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1Adam, Seth, Enosh; 2Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared; 3Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; 4Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

5The descendants of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 6The descendants of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Diphath, a Or young and old and Togarmah. 7The descendants of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim. b Gen 10.3 Ripath; See Gk Vg

8The descendants of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. 9The descendants of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raama, and Sabteca. The descendants of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 10Cush became the father of Nimrod; he was the first to be a mighty one on the earth.

11Egypt became the father of Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 12Pathrusim, Casluhim, and Caphtorim, from whom the Philistines come. c Gen 10.4 Dodanim; See Syr Vg

13Canaan became the father of Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 14and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 15the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 16the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.

17The descendants of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech. d Heb Casluhim, from which the Philistines come, Caphtorim; See Am 9.7, Jer 47.4 18Arpachshad became the father of Shelah; and Shelah became the father of Eber. 19To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg (for in his days the earth was divided), and the name of his brother Joktan. 20Joktan became the father of Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, 23Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the descendants of Joktan.

24Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah; 25Eber, Peleg, Reu; 26Serug, Nahor, Terah; 27Abram, that is, Abraham.

28The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ish mael. 29These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. 32The sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bore Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan. 33The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the descendants of Keturah.

34Abraham became the father of Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel. 35The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. 36The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zephi, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna, and Amalek. 37The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

38The sons of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. 39The sons of Lotan: Hori and Homam; and Lotan's sister was Timna. 40The sons of Shobal: Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. The sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. 41The sons of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hamran, Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 42The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Jaakan. a Mash in Gen 10.23 The sons of Dishan: b Or and Akan; see Gen 36.27 Uz and Aran.

43These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the Israelites: Bela son of Beor, whose city was called Dinhabah. 44When Bela died, Jobab son of Zerah of Bozrah succeeded him. 45When Jobab died, Husham of the land of the Temanites succeeded him. 46When Husham died, Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, succeeded him; and the name of his city was Avith. 47When Hadad died, Samlah of Masrekah succeeded him. 48When Samlah died, Shaul c See 1.38: Heb Dishon of Rehoboth on the Euphrates succeeded him. 49When Shaul c See 1.38: Heb Dishon died, Baal‐hanan son of Achbor succeeded him. 50x‐When Baal‐hanan died, Hadad succeeded him; the name of his city was Pai, and his wife's name Mehetabel daughter of Matred, daughter of Me‐zahab. 51And Hadad died.

The clans d Or Saul of Edom were: clans d Or Saul Timna, Aliah, e Or chiefs Jetheth, 52Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54Magdiel, and Iram; these are the clans d Or Saul of Edom.


a Or young and old

a Gen 10.3 Ripath; See Gk Vg

b Gen 10.4 Dodanim; See Syr Vg

c Heb Casluhim, from which the Philistines come, Caphtorim; See Am 9.7, Jer 47.4

d Mash in Gen 10.23

a Or and Akan; see Gen 36.27

b See 1.38: Heb Dishon

c Or Saul

d Or chiefs

Text Commentary view alone

The ‘Genealogical Forecourt’ (1 Chr 1:1–9:44 )

Genealogies have different functions: legal (e.g. inheritance), political (e.g. legitimizing rule), sociological (necessary preconditions for positions of rank and profession), and psychological (personal identity and self-justification). Some of these aspects are relevant to Chronicles' genealogies and can perhaps be proved by interpreting individual cases in chs. 1–9 . Another factor relevant to these nine chapters as a whole is that genealogies form an important part of historical literature. Ephoros of Kyme (4th cent. BCE), the first universal historian, used them, along with geographical data, when relating early history. The Chronicler used a similar method for his period, but writing a national history, focused upon Israel from 1 Chr 2 onwards. The people of Israel formed the core of the world's population, whilst Jerusalem (and its temple) formed its geographical centre. Within this people, Judah, Benjamin, and Levi stand at its heart. The Davidic genealogies extend beyond their exile, revealing a continued interest in them. In contrast with Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra 2:59–63; Neh 7:61–5 ), narrow individual interests do not appear. The Chronicler's reluctance to extend the genealogies to his own period might have been a method of concealing his own situation. As well as genealogies, chs. 1–9 also contain a number of references to areas where groups settled, struggles between groups and professions, etc. Where the author did not use biblical source material, he mainly used contemporary knowledge and attitudes. His documentation forms an important source of the history of his time, although the inclusion of invented material is also possible.

Strictly theological matters also unfold in the ‘genealogical forecourt’.

From Adam to Israel (1 Chr 1–2:2 )

Taking material exclusively from Genesis and reducing it to a skeletal framework, the Chronicler portrayed the regularly changing family trees and genealogical lists of human history. He omitted only a few names, those of people whose lines ended with their deaths, such as Cain and the brothers of Abraham. A comparison of names with the source (Genesis) shows that some were incorrectly copied.

The structure of this section is: vv. 1–4 : Adam to Noah; Noah's three sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth; vv. 5–7 : Japhethites; vv. 8–23 : Hamites; vv. 24–7 : Semites; vv. 28–34a : the sons of Abraham; 34b2:2 the sons of Isaac and Israel. The descendants of Noah's three sons were listed in inverse order so that the (major) line of Israel could be continued directly. This system of recording the major line last was repeated in subsequent passages.

Apparent contradictions and imbalances, which have often been used as evidence for certain critical approaches, can be readily explained by the Chronicler's intentions. The chapter primarily portrays the human world (areas of settlement are not mentioned), thus inviting the reader to read horizontally. Historical elements, however (see v. 43 ), are not entirely lacking. The chapter underlines the unity of mankind, whilst Genesis emphasizes individual differences. According to Tarn (1941: 74), the idea of universal humanity was only possible after the reign of Alexander the Great. Did the Chronicler apply such Hellenistic ideas to his text, influenced by the mood of the time, or did he develop them himself? Such a question can hardly be answered. Similarly, is the unquestionable universalism of ch. 1 an autonomous idea or does it serve as a background against which Israel's central position can be highlighted? The list comprises seventy-one names and almost exactly forms a world of seventy peoples (if we omit Nimrod).

v. 4 , the reader can know that Shem, Ham, and Japhet are sons of Noah, and not successive generations only if he has read Gen 5 . Chronicles frequently assumes knowledge of the reworked source models and is incomprehensible without it. vv. 32–4a , believed by many to be secondary since the source model seems to have been more extensively reworked than usual and given a different order. Going by the source, these verses belong to v. 28 . vv. 43–54 , Edom and Judah were neighbours and had the closest ties through the best and worst of times. This explains the disproportionately extensive reworking of the source material in Gen 36 . 2:1 , the third founding father in Chronicles is exclusively called Israel (not Jacob), except for the citation of Ps 105 at 1 Chr 16:17 . He was the father of the people of Israel, which was still significant (if physically changed) during the Chronicler's lifetime.

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