A. Descendents of Abraham.
1. (1-2) The descendents of Abraham through Israel.
These were the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.
a. These were the sons of Israel: The line of the patriarchs began with Abraham, and was passed down to Isaac (and not Ishmael) and then to Jacob/Israel (and not to Esau). Yet with the sons of Israel, all the sons were chosen as inheritors of the covenant.
b. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher: These twelve sons of Israel actually became 13 tribes of Israel, because two tribes came from Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim).
i. “The order of names follows Genesis 35:23-26, with one exception. Dan is expected after Benjamin, and no convincing reason has been put forward for the change (cf. also Exodus 1:2-4). A different order is used in the following chapters.” (Selman)
2. (3-17) The descendents of Judah to the family of Jesse, the father of David.
The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, and Shelah. These three were born to him by the daughter of Shua, the Canaanitess. Er, the firstborn of Judah, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; so He killed him. And Tamar, his daughter-in-law, bore him Perez and Zerah. All the sons of Judah were five. The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. The sons of Zerah were Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara; five of them in all. The son of Carmi was Achar, the troubler of Israel, who transgressed in the accursed thing. The son of Ethan was Azariah. Also the sons of Hezron who were born to him were Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. Ram begot Amminadab, and Amminadab begot Nahshon, leader of the children of Judah; Nahshon begot Salma, and Salma begot Boaz; Boaz begot Obed, and Obed begot Jesse; Jesse begot Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, Ozem the sixth, and David the seventh. Now their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. And the sons of Zeruiah were Abishai, Joab, and Asahel; three. Abigail bore Amasa; and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.
a. The sons of Judah: There were twelve sons of Israel, and thirteen tribes from those twelve sons. Yet the tribe of Judah received first attention from the Chronicler.
i. “Judah heads the tribal genealogies, and receives more extensive treatment than any other tribe. The reason for this special prominence is to be found in the central position of David’s line (2:10-17; 3:1-24).” (Selman)
ii. “But while our Chronicler lists all twelve of the sons of Israel-Jacob, his attention quickly focuses on Judah (2:3), the description of whose tribe occupies the next two and one-half chapters.” (Payne)
b. Er, the firstborn of Judah, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; so He killed him: This listing of the line of Judah also includes those with a darker testimony of life, including Er, Onan, Tamar, and Achar (also known as Achan in Joshua 7:24-26).
i. “Achan was also guilty of ‘unfaithfulness’, a key term in Chronicles . . . This word has the nuance of depriving God of his due, and is Chronicles’ favourite explanation for the disaster of the exile.” (Selman)
c. Jesse begot . . . David the seventh: This section of genealogy deals with the line of Judah to David, the founder of the Davidic dynasty that ruled over Israel and Judah.
i. Abishai, Joab, Asahel, and Amasa: “The genealogies of these four warriors, made famous under their half-uncle David (cf. 2 Samuel 2:18-19; 19:13), are not drawn from 2 Samuel 2:18 and 17:25; but apart from this later passage, we would not have known that their mothers, Zeruiah and Abigail, were step-daughters of Jesse, born to David’s mother by her presumably earlier marriage to Nahash.” (Payne)
B. Other descendents of the tribe of Judah.
1. (18-24) The family of Hezron, a grandson of Judah.
Caleb the son of Hezron had children by Azubah, his wife, and by Jerioth. Now these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. When Azubah died, Caleb took Ephrath as his wife, who bore him Hur. And Hur begot Uri, and Uri begot Bezalel. Now afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old; and she bore him Segub. Segub begot Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. (Geshur and Syria took from them the towns of Jair, with Kenath and its towns; sixty towns.) All these belonged to the sons of Machir the father of Gilead. After Hezron died in Caleb Ephrathah, Hezron’s wife Abijah bore him Ashhur the father of Tekoa.
a. Caleb the son of Hezron: This traces a side-line in the tribe of Judah, separate from the line that culminated in David.
i. “In practice, the otherwise unknown Caleb son of Hezron is probably distinct from Caleb, a Kenizzite and son of Jephunneh, who is frequently said to have ‘followed the LORD wholeheartedly’ (e.g. Numbers 14:24; 32:12; Joshua 14:6, 13-14).” (Selman) Caleb the Kenizzite seems to be mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4:15-16.
b. Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon: These obscure names connected with the tribe of Judah are listed for an important general reason. Most of the returning exiles in the general time Chronicles was written were connected to the tribe of Judah.
i. “The land that was occupied by the Jews who had returned from the Babylonian exile consisted primarily of the tribal territories of Judah and Benjamin. Also, the people who make up Ezra’s community were largely from these same two tribes (Ezra 1:5; 10:9).” (Payne)
2. (25-41) The family of Jerahmeel, a great-grandson of Judah.
The sons of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron, were Ram, the firstborn, and Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. Jerahmeel had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. The sons of Ram, the firstborn of Jerahmeel, were Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. The sons of Onam were Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai were Nadab and Abishur. And the name of the wife of Abishur was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid. The sons of Nadab were Seled and Appaim; Seled died without children. The son of Appaim was Ishi, the son of Ishi was Sheshan, and Sheshan’s child was Ahlai. The sons of Jada, the brother of Shammai, were Jether and Jonathan; Jether died without children. The sons of Jonathan were Peleth and Zaza. These were the sons of Jerahmeel. Now Sheshan had no sons, only daughters. And Sheshan had an Egyptian servant whose name was Jarha. Sheshan gave his daughter to Jarha his servant as wife, and she bore him Attai. Attai begot Nathan, and Nathan begot Zabad; Zabad begot Ephlal, and Ephlal begot Obed; Obed begot Jehu, and Jehu begot Azariah; Azariah begot Helez, and Helez begot Eleasah; Eleasah begot Sismai, and Sismai begot Shallum; Shallum begot Jekamiah, and Jekamiah begot Elishama.
a. The sons of Jerahmeel: This traces a side-line in the tribe of Judah, separate from the line that culminated in David.
3. (42-55) The family of Caleb, a great-grandson of Judah.
The descendants of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel were Mesha, his firstborn, who was the father of Ziph, and the sons of Mareshah the father of Hebron. The sons of Hebron were Korah, Tappuah, Rekem, and Shema. Shema begot Raham the father of Jorkoam, and Rekem begot Shammai. And the son of Shammai was Maon, and Maon was the father of Beth Zur. Ephah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Haran, Moza, and Gazez; and Haran begot Gazez. And the sons of Jahdai were Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph. Maachah, Caleb’s concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah. She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbenah and the father of Gibea. And the daughter of Caleb was Achsah. These were the descendants of Caleb: The sons of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah, were Shobal the father of Kirjath Jearim, Salma the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth Gader. And Shobal the father of Kirjath Jearim had descendants: Haroeh, and half of the families of Manuhoth. The families of Kirjath Jearim were the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, and the Mishraites. From these came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. The sons of Salma were Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth Beth Joab, half of the Manahethites, and the Zorites. And the families of the scribes who dwelt at Jabez were the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Suchathites. These were the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.
a. The descendants of Caleb: This traces another side-line in the tribe of Judah, separate from the line that culminated in David.
i. “Caleb’s ‘daughter’ Acsah was only a distant descendant of Caleb the son of Hezron, though she was an immediate daughter of Caleb the son of Jephunneh, the faithful spy (listed in 4:15). She is remembered as the bride of Othniel, the first of the judges (Judges 3:9-11), having been promised to him for his conquest of Debir (Joshua 15:15-19; Judges 1:11-15).” (Payne)
b. These are the Kenites: “The Kenites were originally a foreign people (Genesis 15:19), some of whom, by marriage or adoption, became incorporated into the tribe of Judah.” (Payne)