1 Chronicles 4:18 MEANING

1 Chronicles 4:18
(18) And his wife Jehudijah [Margin is right, the Jewess] bare Jered.--It is obvious that a contrast with the sons of some non-Jewish wife is intended, and these latter ought already to have been mentioned. Clearly, therefore, the sentence "And these are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took"--a sentence which is meaningless in its present position--must be restored to its original place after the first statement of 1 Chronicles 4:17. We thus get the sense: "And the sons of Ezra were Jepher and Mered, and Epher and Jalon. And these [the following] are the sons of Bithiah, daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took [to wife]; she conceived Miriam and Shammai and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. And his [Mered's] wife the Jewess bare Jered . . . Zanoah." Thus the house of Mered son of Ezra bifurcates into a purely Judaean and a mixed Egyptian group of families. Eshtemoa (1 Chronicles 4:17) lay south of Hebron, in the hil-country (Joshua 15:50).

Gedor.--See 1 Chronicles 4:4, where Penuel is called father of Gedor. The two lists may, and probably do, refer to different epochs.

Socho.--Joshua 15:35; in the Shephelah, south-west of Jerusalem.

Zanoah.--Two Judaean towns were so named, one in the Shephelah, the other in the highlands (Joshua 15:34; Joshua 15:56).

Jekuthiel occurs here only; but comp. Joktheel (Joshua 15:38), a town in the Shephelah.

Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh.--Bithiah is apparently Hebrew, "daughter of Iah," that is, a convert to the religion of Israel. It may be a Hebraized form of Bent-Aah, daughter of the Moon, or some like native name. Daughter of Pharaoh, if the nomenclature be tribal, need only mean an Egyptian clan which amalgamated with that of Mered. On the other hand, comp. 2 Chronicles 8:11 and 1 Kings 9:24, where the phrase is used in its literal sense.

4:1-43 Genealogies. - In this chapter we have a further account of Judah, the most numerous and most famous of all the tribes; also an account of Simeon. The most remarkable person in this chapter is Jabez. We are not told upon what account Jabez was more honourable than his brethren; but we find that he was a praying man. The way to be truly great, is to seek to do God's will, and to pray earnestly. Here is the prayer he made. Jabez prayed to the living and true God, who alone can hear and answer prayer; and, in prayer he regarded him as a God in covenant with his people. He does not express his promise, but leaves it to be understood; he was afraid to promise in his own strength, and resolved to devote himself entirely to God. Lord, if thou wilt bless me and keep me, do what thou wilt with me; I will be at thy command and disposal for ever. As the text reads it, this was the language of a most ardent and affectionate desire, Oh that thou wouldest bless me! Four things Jabez prayed for. 1. That God would bless him indeed. Spiritual blessings are the best blessings: God's blessings are real things, and produce real effects. 2. That He would enlarge his coast. That God would enlarge our hearts, and so enlarge our portion in himself, and in the heavenly Canaan, ought to be our desire and prayer. 3. That God's hand might be with him. God's hand with us, to lead us, protect us, strengthen us, and to work all our works in us and for us, is a hand all-sufficient for us. 4. That he would keep him from evil, the evil of sin, the evil of trouble, all the evil designs of his enemies, that they might not hurt, nor make him a Jabez indeed, a man of sorrow. God granted that which he requested. God is ever ready to hear prayer: his ear is not now heavy.And his wife Jehudijah,.... Another wife of Ezra; or, according to Kimchi, of Mered; a Jewess, as the word is by some rendered, to distinguish her from another wife, an Egyptian, in the latter part of the verse:

bare Jered the father of Gedor, and Heber the father of Socho, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah; who were princes, as Jarchi seems rightly to observe; of several cities of these names in the tribe of Judah, as of Gedor, see Joshua 15:58, of Socoh, Joshua 15:35, of Zanoah, Joshua 15:34, the Targum interprets the names of all these men of Moses, whom Pharaoh's daughter brought up; and so other Jewish writers (a), into which mistake they were led by what follows:

and these are the sons of Bithiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, which Mered took; that is, to wife; this Mered was one of the sons of Ezra, 1 Chronicles 4:17 the Targum, and other Jewish writers (b), say this was Caleb, called Mered, because he rebelled against the counsel of the spies; but this contradicts their other notion of Jehudijah, or Bithiah, Pharaoh's daughter, whom he married, the one who brought up Moses, since Moses was elder than Caleb; but Bithiah, whom Mered married, was not a daughter of Pharaoh king of Egypt, but of an Israelite of this name; her sons are supposed to be those in the latter part of 1 Chronicles 4:17.

(a) T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 13. 1. Vajikra Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 146. 3.((b) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 19. 2. & Megillah, fol. 13. 1.

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